UPDATE- CRT Wheelchair Accessories Issue

CRT Stakeholders and Friends,

There has been a great deal of recent activity around stopping CMS from applying Competitive Bid Program (CBP) rates to accessories used on CRT wheelchairs starting January 1. Here’s an update on what’s been going on to keep you current.

Senate Letter to CMS–  A bipartisan Senate letter was sent to CMS requesting it rescind its plan to apply CBP pricing to accessories used with CRT wheelchairs. The letter was led by Senators Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and was signed by 23 Senators. That’s a great sign of support! The letter was balanced with 12 Republicans and 11 Democrats and many of the Senators are on key Congressional Committees. A copy of the letter and a list of signers by state can be found at www.ncart.us.

The conversations with these offices over the past week, and with those who were not able to sign on at this time, have created an important increase in Senate awareness and support on this issue. We will need that as we move ahead. Thanks to all the individuals and organizations who joined us and worked on getting these 23 Senators to sign on. Those organizations include the United Spinal Association, the MS Society, AA Homecare, U.S. Rehab, NRRTS, the Clinician Task Force, and many dedicated CRT providers and manufacturers.

We Need Co-Sponsors for HR-3229– As reported legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Lee Zeldin (R-NY) to provide the technical correction to stop CMS from applying CBP pricing to CRT wheelchair accessories. The bill number is HR-3229. Go to www.ncart.us and follow the instructions in the upper right box to download related documents and email your Representative to get them to sign on as a co-sponsor.

Consumer Group Letters to Congress– Both the United Spinal Association and the National MS Society have sent letters to Congress expressing serious concerns with the wheelchair accessories issue and supporting passage of HR-3229 to fix this issue if CMS does not rescind their policy announcement.

CRT Awareness Week– Next week is National CRT Awareness Week. As mentioned, it’s the perfect time to reach out to your Representative and get them to sign on as a co-sponsor of HR-3229.

ADA 25 and CRT Video– As part of National CRT Week we will be releasing a new video focused on the relationship of the Americans with Disabilities Act and CRT access. The video will include commentary from Senator Tom Harkin, a 30 year Senator and leading advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. Watch your mailboxes!

This “accessory issue” is a major threat to access for people with disabilities and we need to get it resolved as soon as possible. So thanks to all the individuals and organizations who continue to stay engaged and work with their members of Congress to get a fix in place.

Don

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