Monthly Archives: April 2014

2014 National CRT Congressional Call-In Day

CRT Congressional Call‐In Day ‐‐‐ April 29, 2014

Help Protect Access to Specialized Equipment Used By People with Disabilities

A large group of Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) stakeholders (consumers, clinicians, suppliers, manufacturers, and advocates) will be in Washington, D.C. visiting Members of Congress on May 1st. The purpose is secure additional co‐sponsors for the “Ensuring Access to Quality Complex Rehabilitation Technology Act of 2013”. House Bill number H.R. 942 and Senate Bill number S. 948.

This legislation will protect and improve access to CRT for people with significant disabilities and chronic medical conditions by creating a separate category for CRT under the Medicare program to provide a distinction of the specialized nature of CRT products and allow for other needed changes. These changes include eliminating Medicare’s “In the Home” restriction for CRT and enhancing supplier standards and safeguards. The long term objective of this initiative is to improve access for people with disabilities of all ages, whether covered by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance.

If you can’t be in Washington, help out and call your Members of Congress on April 29th

We need thousands of people to call Members of Congress and ask them to sign on as a co‐sponsor to HR‐942/S‐948 to ensure people with disabilities have adequate access to the CRT they depend on. Members must hear from constituents that this is important. To help, follow these steps:

1.) Go to www.access2crt.org and review the “Co‐Sponsors By State” listed under the
“Separate Benefit Category Needed” heading. See if your Senators and Representative are
already signed on. If they aren’t, proceed to Step 2. (If you don’t know their names, go to
www.govtrack.us/congress/members and enter your Zip Code in the address box.)

2.) If any of your Members are not signed on, call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202‐225‐3121 and ask to be connected to their offices. When connected to your Member’s office, tell
them you are calling about “pending Medicare legislation” and ask to speak with the
“Health Legislative Assistant”.

3.) Your message: “I am calling to ask Representative __________ (or Senator __________) to
sign on as a co‐sponsor to House Bill H.R. 942 (or Senate Bill S. 948) to establish a Separate
Category for Complex Rehab Technology under the Medicare program. This bill protects
access to specialized wheelchairs, seating systems, and other adaptive equipment used by a
small population of people with significant disabilities such as spinal cord injuries, cerebral
palsy, ALS, and multiple sclerosis. It is gaining strong support in Congress and already has
109 Representatives and 12 Senators signed on. The bill is also supported by over 50
national consumer and medical professional groups including the United Spinal Association, the ALS Association, the MS Society, the American Association for People with Disabilities, and the Paralyzed Veterans Association.”

4.) Point them to www.access2crt.org if they would like more information.

Thanks to everyone for their participation! For additional information about Complex
Rehab Technology and the Separate Benefit Category initiative please visit www.access2crt.org.

Release Date: 23-Apr-2014

Capped Rental Reclassifications- No Delay Announced

NCART Members and Friends,

CMS did NOT announce a delay in the reclassification of certain CRT codes to the Capped Rental payment category. As a result, the reclassifications are effective for dates of service on or after April 1.

Remember that if these items are provided on a complex rehab power wheelchair they REMAIN billable as a purchase.

It’s very unfortunate that CMS did not address the widespread concerns expressed by all CRT stakeholders and the more global request to create a legitimate classification policy.

Communications to CMS included over 170 public comments on the proposed rule, various meetings with CMS officials and a variety of consumer groups, and a formal request for a delay from Congress. The CMS response has basically been they appreciated hearing of the concerns and will “monitor the situation for any access problems”.

Since a delay (and subsequent removal of CRT codes) did not happen we will be working with our CRT legislation sponsors to add an amendment to provide that all CRT items be available as a purchase or with a purchase option. They have committed to doing this.

In the meantime, it is important that we track and report any problems consumers are having accessing these items. The various consumer groups will be doing likewise. Please share those details with me at dclayback@ncart.us as they arise and encourage consumers to contact their Members of Congress.

This is a vivid example of the lack of recognition and protection being given to specialized equipment and why our CRT legislation is needed. All CRT stakeholders need to continue to rally Congress and get them to weigh in and stop the dismantling of access to individually-configured equipment that people with disabilities rely on.

We will keep you posted on further developments.

Donald E. Clayback
Executive Director | N.C.A.R.T.
716-839-9728 (office) | 716-913-4754 (cell)
dclayback@ncart.us | www.ncart.us

Release Date: 02-Apr-2014