Monthly Archives: March 2015

Rep. Sensenbrenner and Rep.Crowley Reintroduce CRT Bill- H.R. 1516

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 19, 2015

Contact:
Ben Miller (Sensenbrenner) 202-225-5101 Courtney Gidner (Crowley) 202-225-3965

Sensenbrenner & Crowley Reintroduce Legislation to Improve Access to Complex Rehabilitation Technology for Medicare Patients

(WASHINGTON) – Congressmen Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) today reintroduced the Ensuring Access to Quality Complex Rehabilitation Technology Act, which would help ensure patients with disabilities or severe medical conditions have access to highly specialized medical equipment. The bill establishes a distinct Medicare benefit category for complex rehabilitation technology products (CRT), such as specialized power wheelchairs and adaptive seating systems. It would also allow the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to better target its payment and coverage policies by adopting higher quality standards for suppliers, improving oversight to prevent fraud and abuse and expanding eligibility criteria for beneficiaries.

Congressman Sensenbrenner: “As a leader in the fight for the rights of the disabled, I want to ensure all Americans have access to the tools needed to live each day to the fullest. Americans with disabilities should not be denied rehabilitation or medical equipment that can enable them to live and work freely and independently. With increased flexibility and proper oversight, we can help those in need while inhibiting fraud and abuse.”

Congressman Crowley: “Complex rehabilitation technology products can make a world of difference for people with severe disabilities and other medical conditions, and our legislation will remove barriers to getting these wheelchairs and other services to those who need them to lead a more independent life. I look forward to advancing this legislation that recognizes the importance of maintaining access to these products, as well as puts in place much-needed quality standards and consumer protections that strengthen the Medicare program for individuals, clinicians, and suppliers.”

The Ensuring Access to Quality Complex Rehabilitation Technology Act is supported by multiple patient, medical professional and supplier organizations, including: American Association for Homecare, American Physical Therapy Association, Brain Injury Association of America, Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, Easter Seals, National Association for Home Care & Hospice, National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Paralyzed Veterans of America, and United Spinal Association.

Sign-On Deadline Extended for House CRT Letter

CRT Stakeholders and Friends,

Thanks to those who have been actively reaching out to their members in the House of Representatives to get them to sign on to the bipartisan Complex Wheelchair letter to CMS. The letter sends a critical message to CMS to stop the application of Competitive Bid pricing to Complex Rehab wheelchair accessories in 2016 and prevent major access problems for people with disabilities.

Unfortunately and understandably, with multiple major Congressional votes taking place this week getting the time and attention of Representatives has been a challenge. But we have very good news!

Given the seriousness of this issue and the need to allow adequate time for House offices to sign on to the letter, the six House authors are extending the deadline for additional signatures to 5:00 PM on April 15th.

Since Congress will be in recess for the next two weeks (returning April 13th) this will provide CRT stakeholders additional time to follow up with their Representatives to educate them on the issue and get them to add their signatures. The House authors will be resending the sign-on request to their colleagues today announcing the extension.

We want to take advantage of this deadline extension! To build on the outreach and progress of this week, it is critical that CRT stakeholders make use of the additional time and continue to follow up with their Representatives, particularly over the next week. Your personal outreach will pay off…..we have seen absolute proof of that in the past 2 days! But it does take that follow up call.

As an update, as of yesterday we have 27 signatures (see the list below). We obviously want many more, but again this has been an extremely challenging week for Congressional staff and the reality is many offices may not have even had time to discuss your email until today. That’s why the extension is so helpful. The big news is there have been over 3,000 emails sent to Congress in the past 3 days that are ready for follow up!

If your Representative is not on the list below, please take the time to call their office. You can get the phone number and suggested talking points at http://cqrcengage.com/access2crt/CBpricing. This site also has related documents (House letter, Position Paper, Call To Action) that can be reviewed and shared.

Representatives will only sign on if they hear this is an important issue to YOU, their constituent.

Thanks for making this a priority and finding 10 minutes in your busy schedule. Your personal outreach can get that signature!

Don

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

House CRT Letter Signatures at 3-26-15 (By State)
1 CA R Nunes Devin
2 CA D Thompson Mike
3 CO D DeGette Diana
4 CT D Larson John
5 FL D Grayson Alan
6 IA D Loebsack Dave
7 IL R Bost Mike
8 IL R Davis Rodney
9 KS R Yoder Kevin
10 MD D Ruppersberger Dutch
11 MO R Luetkemeyer Blaine
12 NY D Crowley Joe
13 NY R Hanna Richard
14 NY D Higgins Brian
15 NY D Tonko Paul
16 OH D Beatty Joyce
17 OH R Johnson Bill
18 OH R Joyce David
19 OH R Tiberi Pat
20 PA R Kelly Mike
21 PA R Murphy Tim
22 PA R Thompson GT
23 RI D Langevin Jim
24 TN R Blackburn Marsha
25 TN R DesJarlais Scott
26 WI R Kind Ron
27 WI R Sensennbrenner Jim

CRT Bill Reintroduced (H.R. 1516); MDA Adds Their Support

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CRT Stakeholders and Friends,

Great news! Yesterday Congressmen Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Joe Crowley (D-NY) joined in a bipartisan reintroduction of the “Ensuring Access to Quality Complex Rehabilitation Technology Act”. Our new bill number is H.R.1516.

The bill language is the same as last year’s legislation with one important addition. H.R.1516 includes a new provision that will allow all CRT codes to be billable as a “purchase” rather than subject to “capped rental” treatment. This recognizes the individualized nature of CRT items and that they are supplied to meet permanent, not short-term, needs.

At the time of re-introduction Congressman Sensenbrenner stated: “As a leader in the fight for the rights of the disabled, I want to ensure all Americans have access to the tools needed to live each day to the fullest. Americans with disabilities should not be denied rehabilitation or medical equipment that can enable them to live and work freely and independently. With increased flexibility and proper oversight, we can help those in need while inhibiting fraud and abuse.”

Congressman Crowley added his comments: “Complex rehabilitation technology products can make a world of difference for people with severe disabilities and other medical conditions, and our legislation will remove barriers to getting these wheelchairs and other services to those who need them to lead a more independent life. I look forward to advancing this legislation that recognizes the importance of maintaining access to these products, as well as puts in place much-needed quality standards and consumer protections that strengthen the Medicare program for individuals, clinicians, and suppliers.”

We sincerely appreciate the continued leadership of Congressmen Sensenbrenner and Crowley in their pursuit of passage of the CRT legislation in the House. On the Senate side, Senators Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will be reintroducing the Senate companion bill shortly.

In pursuing co-sponsors to H.R. 1516 and the upcoming Senate companion bill, we will build on last year’s efforts that produced great bipartisan Congressional support with 168 House and 22 Senate members signing on to the previous bills.

We also are very happy to announce the Muscular Dystrophy Association has officially pledged their support for the CRT legislation. They will be mobilizing their membership to reach out to Congress to push for passage. MDA joins the list of over 50 national consumer and medical professional organizations supporting the CRT bills.

These are very positive developments in our collective mission to increase CRT recognition and protect access for people with disabilities who depend on these specialized products and supporting services. We are in the process of updating our advocacy documents and tools. Stay tuned for more instructions and thanks for your continued support and outreach!

Don

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