The laws in Florida surrounding guardianship are in flux. Recently, we got our hands on a copy of the House of Representatives Staff Analysis of House Bill 5 – Guardianship Proceedings.
This bill proposes significant changes to guardianship practices, and while we aren’t offering any official position, we encourage you to read the analysis and House Bill 5 for yourself to determine how these changes may affect you or your practice.
It is our understanding that the bill was approved unanimously by the sub-committee on January 22, 2015.
Good news for people needing Speech Generating Devices (SGD’s) to communicate, CMS is actively updating Medicare policy to redefine what types devices are covered.
Previously, the only authorized SGD’s were not capable of other forms of communication, such as texting or email. However, after an urge from the Center for Medicare Advocacy and other groups, CMS is reconsidering this policy.
On November 6th, 2014 CMS backed away from this position, stating: “Since 2001, the technology of devices that generate speech and the ways in which the devices are used by patients to meet their medical needs has changed significantly. For example, patients now use speech devices to generate text and email messages for the purpose of communicating with their caregivers and physicians. Therefore, in light of the changes in technology and use of devices that generate speech, we are internally generating a reconsideration of this NCD to address coverage of devices that generate speech as well as other forms of communication.”
Starting December 1st, 2014, CMS is asking providers to remove SGD restrictions until new policies are put into place.
CMS expects a new SGD National Coverage Determination policy to be completed by July 31, 2015.
In an effort to provide the best possible service to our clients, we will be making some changes to our office hours.
Effective January 16, 2015, our hours will be as follows:
- Monday – Thursday 9 am to 5 pm
- Friday – 9 am to noon
We will be unavailable for appointments or phone calls on Friday afternoons, so that we may finalize our work for the week. This also ensures that we have some uninterrupted time to devote to the needs of our clients.