When to Replace your Wheelchair Cushion

There are two questions that wheelchair users often ask, “How often should I replace my cushion?” and “Will my new cushion be covered by insurance?” Over time all brands, makes and models of cushions will break down. When this occurs, the cushion will not support or protect our skin like it was made to do, which increases your risk of getting pressure sores. Be sure to replace the cushion well before this occurs.

A good rule to follow is to replace it every 3 years. This is how often insurance companies will replace an old one. Medicare seems to take the lead in this area and other insurance companies usually follow Medicare’s lead.

when-to-replace-wheelchair-cushions

It May Be Time to Replace your Cushion

There isn’t any specific time line about how often cushions should be replaced according to Medicare. Experts on the Medicare guidelines are certain that they will pay for a new cushion every 3 years.

The ordering process for new cushions is slow, which is another reason you should request one every 3 years. It is best to order a new cushion when the current one is still in good condition. Your clinician will be able to help you with your evaluation and ordering process. If you wait too long you could be at risk of developing pressure sores.

Some other advantages of getting a new cushion every 3 years include having your old cushion as a backup when needed. You can even use it for extra cushioning.

A New Cushion can make a Difference

There are instances when you will need a new cushion ahead of the 3 years.  You need to have a look at your skin in the butt area twice daily. If your skin is red after extended sitting, you should see your doctor about getting a referral to a Physical Therapist (PT) or Occupational Therapist (OT) for an evaluation.

If your cushion isn’t doing its job of protecting your skin, get an evaluation done and the process rolling for getting a new cushion. If there is a documented change in your medical condition which makes the cushion ineffective, the insurance provider should pay for a new one.

Visit our Dealer Locator to find a Vendor Near You!

Three years are up and it’s time for a new cushion, what do you do next? See your

(durable medical equipment) DME supplier and let them know you need a new cushion. They will walk you through the process of getting a new one based on your seating requirements.

 

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