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Message from RCPA member PATF:

Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) recently hosted a round table event with Congresswoman Madeleine Dean and several of our borrowers and partners to discuss the importance of PATF’s programs — information about assistive technology (AT), funding resources, financial education, and the loan programs!

We heard how PATF’s loan programs make it possible for people to get the AT they need. We also heard from several partners about how they use our other publications, including Smart Homes Made Simple and financial education curriculum.

Attendee Paul Gordon is a social worker and a wheelchair user. He spoke with Rep. Dean about how he benefitted from PATF’s services.

Paul needed to replace his van’s wheelchair lift so that he could continue to travel to work. With funding from the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and a loan from PATF, he was able to get a wheelchair lift installed in his van.

“Given the excellent condition of my van, replacing the wheelchair lift will provide years of service without having to purchase a new vehicle. This is a much more affordable option for me,” said Gordon.

RCPA has signed onto a letter to Congressional leaders of the Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Committee on Finance, along with 244 other signatories, outlining the need for parity in addiction and mental health care under Medicare.

As the President’s 2023 Budget and Senate Finance Committee’s bipartisan report has highlighted, Medicare is not subject to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (Parity Act). As a result, Medicare beneficiaries do not have coverage of or access to the full range of mental health and substance use disorder benefits they need, and often lose access to treatment they were receiving prior to becoming eligible for Medicare. Although Congress has eliminated disparate financial requirements for Medicare beneficiaries, Medicare still imposes both quantitative (e.g. 190-day lifetime limitation on psychiatric hospital care) and non-quantitative treatment limitations that would violate the Parity Act. Applying the Parity Act to Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D is the critical next step to make mental health and substance use disorder services available and accessible to the millions of Medicare beneficiaries in need of treatment.

Read the full letter here.