Senators Schumer And Cochran Introduce Companion Bill S. 948

Senate Bill Introduced To Create Separate Benefit Category for Complex Rehab Technology

Senators Chuck Schumer and Thad Cochran Join In Bipartisan Introduction of Senate Companion Bill S. 948

May 15, 2013

‐ The Separate Benefit Category (SBC) Steering Committee is pleased to announce the introduction of Senate legislation to create a separate benefit category for Complex Rehab Technology within the Medicare program. Senior Senators Chuck Schumer (D‐NY) and Thad Cochran (R‐MS) have joined in a bipartisan introduction of Senate Bill S. 948, the “Ensuring Access To Quality Complex Rehabilitation Technology Act of 2013”.

S. 948 creates a separate benefit category for Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) within the Medicare program so that adequate access to these critical products and supporting services can be assured.  The legislation appropriately distinguishes these specialized products and makes other required changes, including increasing related standards and safeguards, to better address the unique needs of individuals with disabilities and medical conditions who rely on CRT to meet their medical needs and maximize their function and independence

This legislation is a companion to House Bill H.R. 942 which was introduced in March of this year with bipartisan support by Congressmen Joe Crowley (D‐NY) and Jim Sensenbrenner (R‐WI).

Senator Schumer is a senior Senate Democrat who has served in Congress for 33 years; elected to the House in 1980 and elected to the Senate in 1998. He is Chair of the Senate Rules Committee and a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Judiciary Committee, and Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. Senator Cochran is a senior Senate Republican who has served in the Senate since 1978. He is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Rules Committee, andAgriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.

“We are honored and grateful to have these two well respected Senators introduce CRT legislation. This bill will protect the needs of people with disabilities and now that we have legislation introduced in both the House and Senate we look forward to continuing to create awareness of CRT issues and securing additional co‐sponsors and passage”, said Don Clayback, SBC Steering Committee Chair.

 The SBC initiative has garnered broad support from the consumer and clinical communities. Over 40 national groups have signed on in support of the legislation and its objectives. The list includes the ALS Association, American Association of People with Disabilities, ITEM Coalition, National Council on Independent Living, Paralyzed Veterans of America, United Spinal Association, American Association of Occupational Therapists, American Association of Physical Therapists, and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Last year the House Bill enjoyed strong bipartisan support from 39 House Members, which included 13 members from the key House Ways and Means and Energy and Committees. The group also included both the Republican and Democrat Co‐Chairs of the House Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus.

For more information on the Separate Benefit Category for Complex Rehab Technology visitwww.access2crt.org or contact Don Clayback, SBC Steering Committee Chair, atdclayback@ncart.us or 716‐839‐9728.

Release Date: 16-May-2013