Sanford Driver Rehabilitation Program

Sanford Health has a driver rehabilitation program. This driver evaluation and training process was created to help people resume their independent lifestyle after a disabling illness or injury. The therapists are certified driver rehabilitation specialists who will assess a person’s ability to drive safely and can also teach you how to use adaptive equipment and assist with vehicle modification and selections for specific needs.

A professional driving assessment may be necessary if a person has physical limitations that may require adaptive equipment, cognitive impairments that may cause problems in identifying driving hazards, visual impairments, delayed reaction time, and apprehension about an individual’s driving ability.

During the evaluation, the certified driver rehabilitation specialist gives a clinical evaluation of physical, cognitive, and visual skills. They will also evaluate a person’s behind the wheel performance, evaluate any adaptive equipment needs, help with vehicle selection and modifications, provide driving training which may include adaptive equipment, and refer the person to any other needed driver training program that might be needed.

In order to have a driving evaluation, a person needs to complete the application forms, submit medical records that relate to an illness or disability effecting driving, have a physician referral, have a valid driver’s license or special permit, meet North Dakota seizure law and visual requirements, and have prior authorization from funding sources, if applicable.

To find out more about the driver rehabilitation services, please contact:

Sanford Driver Rehabilitation Program

300 N 7th St

Bismarck, ND 58501

Phone: 701-323-6153


Capital Area Transit Provides Student Summer Fun Passes

Every summer, Capital Area Transit provides students with an affordable way to get around the Bismarck-Mandan area. A Student Summer Fun Pass costs just $20. This pass is available to students in K-12 as well as college students. In order to qualify, K-12 students just need to verify their age. College students must present a current student identification.

The Student Summer Fun Pass is good for unlimited rides from Memorial Day through Labor Day each year. To purchase a pass, you need to present exact cash or check to CAT drivers or stop in at the CAT’s administrative office located at 3750 East Rosser Avenue in Bismarck.

NCD Releases Update on Transportation Access Report Update

The National Council on Disability (NCD) released a comprehensive assessment on transportation for people with disabilities on May 4, 2015. The report picks up ten years after NDC’s 2005 publication of “The Current State of Transportation for People with Disabilities in the United States,” which, in part, led to major improvements in accessible transportation.

The report released on May 4, titled “Transportation Update: Where We’ve Gone and What We’ve Learned,” outlines both the progress made in the last decade and discusses persistent barriers that still remain. The NCD chair, Jeff Rosen states, “Much has happened in the last decade. More people with disabilities are riding public transit than ever before and yet, in many areas, significant barriers to ground transportation for Americans with disabilities remain pervasive.”

Rosen goes on to discuss taxi alternatives such as Uber, SideCar, Lyft, and others that could open up business opportunities that could provide much-needed travel options for people with disabilities.

Here are a few of the findings:

  • Taxi alternatives: Emerging transportation models like Uber, SideCar, and Lyft have vigorously resisted regulations that are usually imposed on the taxicab sector. Uber has openly claimed that it is not covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Fixed Route Buses: Ridership of fixed route bus transit and rail systems have grown far faster than ridership on ADA paratransit.
  • Paratransit: There have been gains in the best practices in areas of eligibility, telephone hold time, on-time performance, no-show policies, etc.
  • Rural Transportation: The lack of rural transportation is a serious barrier to employment, accessible health care, and full participation in society.
  • Best Practices: Oregon, Iowa, and Main provide examples of positive coordination of transportation programs for people with disabilities. Cities such as Chicago, New York City, and Rhode Island still lack adequate wheelchair accessible taxi programs even though they have made progress.

New Medicare Cards to be Issued

In April, President Obama signed a bill that will end the use of Social Security numbers on Medicare cards. Currently, more than 4,500 people sign up for Medicare each day. Nearly 18 million people will qualify for Medicare within the next decade. This will bring Medicare enrollment up to 74 million people by 2025.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will begin issuing cards with new identifiers over the next four years. They will have an additional four years to reissue cards to current beneficiaries. The Medicare numbers that will be replacing the Social Security number currently listed on cards will be randomly generated.

It is thought that this change will help to protect Americans on Medicare. It will prevent them from having their Social Security number exposed; however, there will still be a possibility for scams to occur. It is important to always protect yourself against scams. Medicare will never call you or visit you at home.

Medicaid to Cover Mental Health Services at the Same Level as Medical and Surgical Services

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are proposing new regulations that would require Medicaid to cover mental health services at the same level as other medical and surgical services. This rule would hold Medicaid to the standard established under a federal law passed in 2008. Regulations issued in 2013 are similar in that they already require most private health insurance plans to cover mental health services at the same level as medical and surgical. Officials with the National Association of Medicaid Directors are welcoming this rule, but warn that it will likely take years to see the full impact.

Medicaid has become the largest payer of mental health services in the country and this proposed rule will help to allow more people to get the care they need. Nearly 12 million visits made to United States hospital emergency departments in 2007 involved individuals with a mental disorder, substance abuse problem, or both.

Many people who participate in Medicare do not have adequate insurance protection against the cost of treatment for mental and substance abuse disorders. The new proposed rule will affect:

  • copays, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket maximums
  • Limitations on services utilization (limit on the number of inpatient/outpatient days that are covered
  • Coverage for out-of-network providers
  • Criteria for medical necessity determinations

The new proposed rule also would mandate that Medicaid programs provide a reason a beneficiary was denied treatment. The rule will be open for public comment through June 9.