CRT Legislation Making Progress

NCART calls on providers to continue their advocacy push to help protect CRT from bid expansion.

Two bills in the House and Senate that would protect complex rehab accessories from CMS’s Jan. 1, 2016 implementation of nationwide expansion of competitive bidding are making progress.

The bills provide a technical correction that restricts CMS from applying Medicare competitive bidding program pricing to the accessories used with complex rehab wheelchairs.

H.R. 3229 introduced into the House in July by Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), now has 55 co-sponsors. S.2196, introduced the Senate by Sen. Robert Casey (D-Pa.) with Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) attached, now has six co-sponsors.

Additionally, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-Mich) sent a letter to CMS reminding the agency that the Social Security Act protects complex rehab from competitive bidding and asking for a list of HCPCS codes CMS intends to use in the expansion. The letter can be found at http://bit.ly/1lyb7PS.

Also, this week news service Bloomberg BNA published, “Committee Heads Concerned About Cuts in Wheelchair Item Pricing” (http://bit.ly/1MFX6pT), an article about the letter from  Reps. Brady and Levin.

Donald Clayback, executive director of the National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology called the letter, coverage and increased congressional support for the legislation “great positive developments” and urged providers to continue their advocacy on behalf of the House and Senate bills.

“To keep this momentum going we need to continue reaching out to Congressional offices for additional co-sponsorships,” Clayback said in a public NCART statement. “Our bills are in competition with hundreds of others and we need to elevate the urgency of this crisis by gaining as many co-sponsors as possible over the next two weeks.”

To support H.R. 3229 and S.2196, providers can go towww.protectmymobility.org, which provides links and resources to help them contact their Congress members. The NCART statement reminded providers to follow up with lawmakers and their staff until they finally sign on. The site includes a one page "Call to Action" that providers can download and share with patients, referral partners, and other constituents to help enlist them in supporting the legislation.

About the Author

David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/dkopf/ and on Twitter at @postacutenews.

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