Help Get H.R. 3730 Passed To Protect CRT Manual Wheelchair Accessories

September 12, 2017

CRT Stakeholders and Friends,

H.R. 3730 is the new bill to stop CMS’ inappropriate application of Medicare Competitive Bid pricing to CRT manual wheelchair accessories (critical wheelchair components). As reported, this new legislation is being led by Representatives Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and John Larson (D-CT) and they were joined in this bipartisan introduction by 41 original cosponsors. This fix is critical to protect access for people with disabilities who rely on CRT manual wheelchairs.

It’s a very busy/chaotic time in Congress. The bipartisan introduction of H.R. 3730 by 43 Representatives is a great start, but it’s important everyone now take the time to reach out to their Representative and get them to sign as a cosponsor. The CRT community will need to work hard to be get this supported and passed. You can see the list of the Representatives signed on so far here and access the related legislative position paper here.

We’ve updated the materials and tools at www.protectmymobility.org to make your outreach to your Representative as easy as possible. Visit the site and use the H.R. 3730 email and call links to get to your Representative’s office. Remember, polite persistence is key to a successful outcome.

Side Note: We expect a Senate companion bill to be introduced shortly. But for now, our focus is on securing House of Representatives cosponsors.

Thanks for taking the time to contact your Representative and secure them as a cosponsor. Please spread the word to others so they can use the tools and do the same.

Regards,

Don

Donald E. Clayback
Executive Director | NCART
Office 716-839-9728 | Cell 716-913-4754
dclayback@ncart.us | www.ncart.us

P.S. If you know of any other stakeholders that would like to receive updates like these, have them join our mailing list here!

CRT Accessories Legislation Introduced by 43 Representatives

September 8, 2017

CRT Stakeholders,

Very good news for people with disabilities who rely on CRT manual wheelchairs and accessories (better referred to as critical components).  Needed legislation has been introduced in Congress by 43 members of the House of Representatives.

Legislation was introduced today by Representatives Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and John Larson (D-CT) to stop CMS from using Competitive Bid pricing for accessories used with CRT manual wheelchairs.  They were joined in this bipartisan action by 41 original cosponsors (19 Republicans and 22 Democrats) and includes excellent representation from the key Congressional Committees.  You can see the list of the 43 Representatives by state here.

This bill is needed to resolve the lingering issue of CMS applying competitive bid pricing to accessories used with CRT manual wheelchairs.  Unfortunately, a June policy change by CMS solved the problem for CRT power wheelchairs but did not extend that same correction to CRT manual wheelchair accessories.  People with disabilities who use a CRT manual wheelchair should have the same access to critical wheelchair components as those who use a CRT power wheelchair.

Our sincere thanks to Representative Zeldin, Representative Larson, and the other Representatives who joined as original cosponsors for their leadership to protect access for people with disabilities.

We will have the official bill number on Monday and will be updating related materials and the email/phone tools to help secure additional cosponsors.  Watch for more details Monday.

Regards,

Don

Donald E. Clayback
Executive Director | NCART
Office 716-839-9728 | Cell 716-913-4754
dclayback@ncart.us | www.ncart.us

P.S. If you know of any other stakeholders that would like to receive updates like these, have them join our mailing list here!

Medicare DME Hurricane Harvey Guidance

September 8, 2017

CRT Providers and Manufacturers,

Our thoughts and prayers continue for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey and to those who will be impacted by Hurricane Irma in the coming days.

CMS has issued formal guidance for DME providers relating to “emergency” DME replacements and that document can be found here.  The highlights are:

  • When DMEPOS are lost, destroyed, irreparably damaged, or otherwise rendered unusable due to circumstances relating to a declared emergency, Medicare will pay for the replacement DMEPOS that a Medicare beneficiary owns or purchased.
  • The Secretary has established a blanket waiver under section 1135 of the Social Security Act such that the face-to-face requirement, a new physician’s order, and new medical necessity documentation are not required for replacement. Suppliers must still include a narrative description on the claim explaining the reason why the equipment must be replaced and are reminded to maintain documentation indicating that the DMEPOS was lost, destroyed, irreparably damaged or otherwise rendered unusable as a result of the hurricane.
  • CMS has informed AAHomecare that the rental cycle will start over for capped rental and oxygen equipment that are replaced due to the hurricane.
  • If applicable, beneficiaries must use a contract supplier (or an approved sub-contractor) if they need a DMEPOS Competitive Bidding item and are in a Competitive Bidding Area impacted by the hurricane.
  • All Medicare-enrolled DMEPOS suppliers can contact the DME MAC Jurisdiction C Customer Service Center at 1-866-270-4909 for assistance and guidance.

Should you have any questions or if we can be of assistance please let us know.

Regards,

Don

Donald E. Clayback
Executive Director | NCART
Office 716-839-9728 | Cell 716-913-4754
dclayback@ncart.us | www.ncart.us

P.S. If you know of any other stakeholders that would like to receive updates like these, have them join our mailing list here!

Get Cosponsors for CRT Manual Wheelchair Accessories Bill

August 30, 2017

CRT Stakeholders and Friends,

We need your Representative to join in the introduction of new legislation to stop the Medicare cuts to CRT manual wheelchair accessories.

As we reported earlier this month, Representatives Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and John Larson (D-CT) will be introducing NEW legislation in September to stop CMS’ application of Medicare Competitive Bid pricing to accessories used with CRT manual wheelchairs.

Representatives Zeldin and Larson are seeking additional House members to join them in the September introduction. You can see the list of members who have already agreed to be an original cosponsor here.

If your Representative is not on the list, please reach out and ask him/her to sign on by contacting either office. Use the Issue Paper available here to make your request.  The new legislation to be introduced can be found here.

Thanks for reaching out this week.

Regards,

Don

Donald E. Clayback
Executive Director | NCART
Office 716-839-9728 | Cell 716-913-4754
dclayback@ncart.us | www.ncart.us

 

P.S. If you know of any other stakeholders that would like to receive updates like these, have them join our mailing list here!

New House Bill to Fix CRT Manual Wheelchair Accessories

August 3, 2017

CRT Stakeholders and Friends,

Representatives Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and John Larson (D-CT) will be introducing legislation in September to stop CMS’ application of Medicare Competitive Bid pricing to accessories used with CRT manual wheelchairs. This will replace the previously introduced broader bill, H.R. 1361, written to prohibit CMS from using Competitive Bid pricing for accessories used with either CRT power or CRT manual wheelchairs.

The CRT “power” wheelchair accessories issue was resolved in late June when CMS announced a policy clarification stating it would not use Competitive Bid pricing for accessories used with Group 3 CRT power wheelchairs. We again thank CMS and Congress for that needed action.

Unfortunately, the clarification did not extend to accessories used with CRT “manual” wheelchairs so this follow up legislation is required. Passage of this new bill is needed to fix the current disparity that prevents people who use a CRT manual wheelchair from having the same access to CRT accessories as those using a CRT power wheelchair. The new legislative language can be viewed here.

During the August recess Representatives Zeldin and Larson are seeking additional House members to join in the September introduction. You can see the list of members who have already agreed to be an original cosponsor here. If your Representative is not on the list, please reach out and ask him/her to sign on by contacting either office. Use the Issue Paper available here to make your request.

Thanks for your continued engagement and we’ll keep you updated on the progress.

Regards,

Don

Donald E. Clayback
Executive Director | NCART
Office 716-839-9728 | Cell 716-913-4754
dclayback@ncart.us | www.ncart.us

P.S. If you’d like to stay updated on CRT news, join our mailing list here!

CRT Power Wheelchair Accessories Cuts Averted

June 23, 2017

CRT Stakeholders and Friends,

Late today the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it will NOT be applying Medicare Competitive Bid Program information to reduce payment rates for Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) Group 3 power wheelchair accessories. This averts significant cuts that were scheduled to go into effect July 1 and avoids drastic reductions in access to this specialized equipment.

This is great news people with disabilities who rely on CRT Group 3 power wheelchairs. Unfortunately, there was no change in payment rates for accessories used with CRT manual wheelchairs. But we will build on this victory and pursue relief from cuts to CRT manual accessories as we continue to work with Congress and CMS to protect CRT access.

A copy of the CMS announcement can be found here. CMS instructs providers to continue using the KU modifier for billing accessories furnished with CRT Group 3 power wheelchairs. There are no additional actions required for claims with dates of service on or after July 1.

Our thanks to HHS Secretary Tom Price and CMS Administrator Seema Verma for making this needed policy correction. We particularly thank CRT Champions Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) and Representatives Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and John Larson (D-CT) for their leadership and commitment to protect people with disabilities. Additional thanks to the leadership and staff of the Senate Finance, House Energy & Commerce, and House Ways & Means Committees who worked very hard to resolve this issue. Please take time next week to email your Members of Congress and thank them for their support.

This policy correction would never have happened without the dedication and collective advocacy work of the whole CRT community! Sincere thanks to all the consumers, disability organizations, clinicians, providers, manufacturers, and others who worked extremely hard to produce this outcome. It’s through CRT stakeholders coming together in even greater numbers that this was accomplished.

With your continued support and engagement, we will build on this win and work even harder to protect access to CRT on the federal, state, and private insurance levels.

Regards,

Don

Donald E. Clayback
Executive Director | NCART
Office 716-839-9728 | Cell 716-913-4754
dclayback@ncart.us | www.ncart.us

Top Ways That You Can Stay On Top Of Your Congress Member

Staying in touch with your congressional representative is crucial if you want your voice heard and your views to be known.  Finding ways to get a hold of your representative can be tricky because of their busy schedules and all of the other people who want to discuss matters with them.  At NCART, we wanted to share some simple ways that you can take part in the debate with your member of Congress and make a change!

Resistbot

By using this technology, your texts are turned into faxes to your representative by the service.  Overtime, you’ll unlock more uses of Resistbot to become a more influential advocate.

Email

Email is the fastest, most popular way to get in touch, but so many people use this platform that it is important to make your views stand out by being innovative, factual, and to the point.  You can also look online for forms that your member of Congress may provide for you to send a message to them.

Countable

This service seeks to give you a greater voice in politics.  Countable gives you a simple and short overview of the bills your representatives are debating.  Then it lets you send emails to them describing how you feel about the issue and how they should vote.

ThinkUp

This tool is used as a way to gauge popular sentiment through social media.  ThinkUp shows social media analytics so government officials can learn more about their followers.  By liking your representative’s social media posts over certain topics, they will be able to go in and see what is most popular so your voice is heard.

Advocacy Groups

Apart from spending money to lobby, many advocacy groups have created networks in order to have connections with members of Congress.  Advocacy groups do research over main pieces of legislation and know who is on which committees.  By knowing this, they will be able to organize meetings, phone trees, and small campaigns, so if you stay involved with a group, you will have more immediate access to your Congress person.

By using these diverse tools and strategies, you will be able to successfully get your views across when contacting your Congress person.  At NCART, we believe these different tactics can help you can make the difference you’ve been wanting!

 

Learn Latest on Healthcare Policy Changes

March 30, 2017

Healthcare policy and coverage changes are the talk of the country. If you are a CRT stakeholder you need to be informed on what is being discussed and what lies ahead.

Thankfully this important topic will be covered at the National CRT Leadership and Advocacy Conference being held April 26 and 27 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia. Three Washington DC experts will provide education and discussion on April 26 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM.

“Healthcare Policy- What’s in the Air?”- This panel presentation will provide an overview of the issues, options, and politics in Washington regarding healthcare policy. Attendees will hear directly from DC veterans active in this arena about the dynamics in play as the President and Congress look to improve healthcare on a national and state level. On the panel will be Eric Gascho, Vice President of Government Affairs at the National Health Council along with Amy Cunniffe, Principal, and Sarah Egge, Senior Manager, with the Washington Council at Ernst & Young. This will be a great primer in advance of our Congressional visits.

One more reason to join us in Washington as we take the CRT message to Congress! Get signed up for the conference today at http://www.ncart.us/crtconf. And be sure to book your hotel room, they’re going fast!

Regards,

Don Clayback, NCART
dclayback@ncart.us

Weesie Walker, NRRTS
wwalker@nrrts.org

Medicare Call Re Prior Authorization for Certain Group 3 Wheelchairs

March 15, 2017

CMS is holding a Special Open Door Forum call tomorrow, March 16, from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM ET regarding the new Medicare Prior Authorization (PA) requirement for two CRT Group 3 Power Wheelchair codes.

This PA requirement goes into effect in the states of Illinois, Missouri, New York, and West Virginia for dates of service of March 20 or after.  The PA requirement will expand nationwide in July.

The two codes impacted are K0856 (Group 3 Standard Power Wheelchair with Single Power Option) and K0861 (Group 3 Standard Power Wheelchair with Multi Power Option).

You can find the full announcement with additional call details here.  The dial in number is 1-800-837-1935 and the Conference ID # is 85144406.

The call will be recorded by CMS for later playback.  Details will be posted at the CMS Open Door Forum website.

April CRT Leadership and Advocacy Conference

February 3, 2017

CRT Stakeholders and Friends,

It’s time to sign up for this year’s National CRT Leadership and Advocacy Conference put on by NCART and NRRTS! We’re meeting on April 26 and 27, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia. You’re invited to join other CRT stakeholders for a great program of education, advocacy, and networking.

A major part of the conference is visiting Members of Congress to push for passage of our “CRT Wheelchair Accessories” and our “CRT Separate Benefit Category” legislation. We built good momentum last year thanks to everyone’s efforts. But this year’s visits are critical to getting passage of permanent fixes and improvements.

We need as many CRT advocates as we can get taking the CRT message directly to Congress. To enable greater attendance, and recognizing the demands on people’s time and dollars, we have condensed this year’s conference program to two days and reduced the conference fee to only $199.

Attendees will benefit from industry-driven topics, unique networking opportunities, regulatory and legislative updates, and Capitol Hill appointments with their Members of Congress. You can download the conference flyer here.

The conference snapshot looks like this:

Leadership Day – Wednesday, April 26 – CRT focused presentations covering health care reform, federal and state regulatory/legislative issues, and getting prepped for Congress. The schedule: 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM “Health Care Reform”; 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM- Lunch On Your Own; 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM “Industry Update”; 3:00 PM to 3:30 PM- Networking Break; 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM “Congressional Prep and State Delegation Meetings”; and 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM- “CRT United Reception”.

Capitol Hill Day – Thursday, April 27 – Our historic annual lobbying event. Providers, manufacturers, consumers, and clinicians will take the CRT message directly to Congress through in-person meetings on Capitol Hill. The schedule: 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM Capitol Hill Visits; and 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM “Debriefing Reception”.

Now’s the time to get signed up so you get a spot and hotel room. Don’t wait too long and risk being shut out. You can get more details and register at www.ncart.us or www.nrrts.org.

This promises to be a great conference and we look forward to seeing many of you there!

Regards,

Don Clayback, NCART
dclayback@ncart.us

Weesie Walker, NRRTS
wwalker@nrrts.org