The fight to protect access to CRT accessories has been at the forefront of our legislative discussion. From delaying the application of competitive bid rates to the CMS’ ruling on billing instructions that directly violates S-2425, it’s the issue that has garnered the most attention. But what exactly are we talking about when we refer to CRT accessories?
We’re not talking about frills. The term “accessory” can be deceptive, as it brings to mind items that are nice but not necessarily needed. When we’re talking CRT, accessories include items that are vital to the user’s life and health.
Cushions are not a luxury. In many cases, accessories include things such as seating and positioning cushions. Just like the word “accessory,” this can also bring to mind something that’s a luxury and not a necessity. For CRT users, however, it’s the exact opposite. These cushions and seating positions keep them from developing sores and placing stress on the wrong muscles. It keeps them healthy while using their wheelchair for everyday life.
They include things that are essential to operating the wheelchair. It would be impossible to operate a wheelchair without the wheels. The same goes for the control stick that turns the wheelchair. Yet, all these things are included in the accessory category. They also include miscellaneous parts that keep the chair going. When one of those parts goes out, it can be impossible for CRT users to get it replaced, due to the red-tape and lack of funding.
Getting the right accessories is more difficult than it seems. Because of how the system is currently set up, CRT users often end up being diagnosed with the wrong equipment, which leaves them unable to lead independent lives.
They help contribute to the tax base, not deplete it. By having the right accessories, CRT users are able to lead independent, productive lives that allow them to have jobs, homes and pay their taxes.
At NCART, we seek to educate legislators on the importance of funding CRT, including accessories. If you would like to help, visit our website and email your legislators!