Medicare soon may pay for devices that generate e-mails and text messages for patients with speech impairments.
The proposed policy change comes after the CMS came under fire last year from the Lou Gehrig’s disease community for not covering devices adapted for nonspeech uses such as e-mail and Internet access. Since 2001, Medicare has covered speech-generation devices for such patients. Those devices provide audible communication with people in close proximity to the patient. The proposal would expand Medicare coverage to include technology that produces written messages for remote communication.