WHILL Retires the Model M Power Wheelchair
San Carlos, CA (March 4, 2019) — As of March 1, 2019, sales of the WHILL Model M power wheelchair have been discontinued. When the Model M was released, the intention was to service a segment of mobility device users who had more complex seating requirements as well as have the option to get a portion of the device covered through insurance.
While the Model M received an HCPCS code for reimbursement through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), since the Model M is a all-wheel drive (AWD) product, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) assigned the Model M in a unique category named K0898 (“Power wheelchair, not otherwise classified”). Although some Model M users successfully had a portion of their device covered by insurance, this category assignment made obtaining insurance reimbursement a rather difficult endeavor.
Why K0898? In the Medicare Pricing, Data Analysis and Coding’s (PDAC) evaluation process, a strong emphasis is placed on Medicare’s stringent focus on the device’s ability to assist the user with participating in Mobility Related Activities of Daily Living (MRADL) such as toileting, feeding, dressing, grooming, and bathing. Under these strict guidelines and evaluation processes, Model M’s highly beneficial AWD system was not deemed necessary for indoor use.
Over the last two years, we’ve had significant feedback that the process of obtaining coverage for the Model M was a very frustrating process. At WHILL, our mission is to bring fun and innovation to pedestrian travel. We believe that taking part in the activities you love — indoors and outdoors, on a range of terrain — isn’t a luxury.
We will continue to provide service and support for the Model M. For Model M support inquiries, please reach out to our Support Team at email@example.com or (844) 699-4455.
The WHILL Model A has some similar features of the Model M, including seat slide, three speeds, all-wheel drive, ability to handle rough terrain with ease — it’s great for hiking trails and paths. It also offers the bonus of the WHILL Model A companion app. To experience the Model A — or Model Ci — visit WeDrive or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your test drive.
Since its founding in 2012, WHILL’s mission is to transform today’s antiquated power wheelchair and scooter experiences into a new kind of empowering devices, intelligent personal electric vehicles (EVs). WHILL is reinventing the personal mobility industry with personal EVs that focus on an approachable and aesthetically pleasing powered vehicles that boosts confidence and pushes the boundaries of personal transportation. Headquartered in Yokohama, Japan with offices in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taiwan and EU, WHILL is focused on enabling everyone to explore the world in comfort and style.