Mobility Management Podcast: NCART’s Summer Successes & Fall Plans
NCART is following up a successful summer of Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) advocacy by planning for the rest of the year… and beyond.
In Mobility Management’s latest podcast, NCARTs new Executive Director Wayne Grau, outgoing Executive Director Don Clayback, and Associate Director Mickae Lee began by discussing the Medicare public comment period for power seat elevation for complex power wheelchairs, which ended in September.
“There were over 3,500 comments submitted from the public,” Clayback said. He added that the comment period did not include power standing, which the industry had also requested, and said the industry should expect a final decision on seat elevation in May 2023. “That’s why it’s important CMS [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] open up the public comment period for power standing as soon as possible, because as the timeline indicates, you’re looking at nine months before you’re going to have a final decision once that period opens.”
As for NCART’s next areas of focus, beyond power standing, Grau added that suppliers need financial relief. “We do have to get payment reform. Our folks are facing major increases due to inflation and as we know, they’re really stuck to fixed fee schedules.”
Grau said NCART will also be working on repair and service reform: “We’ve got to make this process better and quicker so consumers can get the equipment they have repaired as quick as possible.”
NCART will be building off of what Lee called “a very strong CRT Awareness Week” in August that saw “over 100 organizations participating.” She also praised industry advocates “who personally took the time to recruit 10, 20, 60 other people to get involved in [September’s virtual Congressional] Fly-In. And that was huge. They wanted them to learn the process, to better understand the need for advocacy and to experience how powerful it is.”
In fact, Lee added, NCART is focusing on building up the next generation of industry advocates. “There’s no runner, regardless of their physical prowess, who can run indefinitely,” she said. “At some point, there have to be others to pass that baton to.”
Listen to the podcast and check out other episodes in Mobility Management’s podcast center.