The Jazzy® EVO 613 series of power wheelchairs from Pride Mobility® are among the most powerful on the market, but they’re also among the narrowest and most maneuverable with a 22-inch-wide base, a 22-inch turning radius, and Active-Trac® suspension.
This series is comprised of two models: Jazzy EVO 613, and Jazzy EVO 613Li. The difference lies within the type of battery – the former utilizes a pair of 12-volt U-1 sealed lead acid batteries, while the latter is powered by a single 25-volt lithium-iron phosphate battery.
These two battery types are classified differently under the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS), the medical billing process used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Therefore, when insurance claims are processed for reimbursement, U1 and lithium-ion batteries will be billed differently.
U-1 vs. Lithium-Ion
Two U-1 batteries are required to power the Jazzy EVO 613. Only one lithium battery is required to power the Jazzy EVO 613Li.
Each U-1 battery weighs 23.5 pounds, while one lithium battery weighs 18.5 pounds.
U-1 batteries are airline-compliant. While some lithium batteries are airline-compliant, the total watt hours of the ones utilized on the Jazzy EVO 613Li (829 Wh) exceeds the limit established by the Federal Aviation Administration (300 Wh).
Although lithium-ion batteries are more expensive, there are several advantages to using them, including a faster charging time, sustained power performance, and a longer life.
Batteries are among certain parts of an electric wheelchair that are separately reimbursable). Each battery is classified into its own HCPCS code. For U-1 batteries, that code is E2365. For lithium-based, it’s E2397.
Medicare reimburses more for lithium batteries, though the exact amount will vary by state, based on the residency of the beneficiary. And it’s important to remember that The EVO 613Liutilizes one lithium battery as opposed to the two U-1 batteries required for the operation of the EVO 613.
When it comes to battery replacement, lithium is an excellent choice. Medicare will pay for a replacement lithium battery once every three years, and Pride offers a three-year limited warranty on the lithium batteries used on the Jazzy EVO 613Li. The U-1 batteries are covered by a separate 13-month warranty, provided by the battery manufacturer. These batteries are not warranted by Pride.
While both U-1 and lithium-ion batteries have their advantages, consumers’ preferences would determine their choices. For instance, if a consumer would like to travel by airplane with their powerchair, they would prefer U1 batteries since those are airline compliant.
If a consumer were to use their powerchair more around the house and around town, while possibly moving and lifting it more often, lithium batteries would be preferred, since one is significantly lighter than two U-1 batteries.
From a service standpoint, lithium batteries may be a more economical choice. The sustained power performance and longer battery life of lithium can result in fewer service calls.
No matter the battery, both the Jazzy EVO 613 and the Jazzy EVO 613Li are among the most premier options in the Jazzy lineup.