NCART Re-Schedules Washington Fly-In As Rehab Carve-Out Is Introduced

The National Coalition for Assistive & Rehab Technology (NCART) has announced new dates for its Rehab Technology Fair and Congressional Fly-In to support the special benefits and needs of the rehab community, as a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives that would exclude rehab products from competitive bidding consideration.

The NCART Fly-In is scheduled for May 22-23 in Washington, D.C., and will combine Capitol Hill lobbying with rehab/assistive technology demonstrations and testimonials from clinicians and end-users.

The so-called rehab carve-out ù formally known as H.R. 4994 ù was introduced by Rep. Ron Lewis (R-Ky.), a member of the House Ways & Means Committee, on Thursday, March 16. The bill proposes to exclude complex rehab and assistive technology products from Medicare national competitive bidding programs. Products that would be excluded according to the proposal would include medically necessary adaptive seating, positioning and mobility devices, plus speech-generating equipment that is created or configured especially for a user's specific needs. The end-user must also have a primary diagnosis that resulted from injury or trauma, or that is neuromuscular in nature.

NCART president and Sunrise Medical VP of Government Relations Rita Hostak lauded the proposed legislation as "a great benefit for people with disabilities in ensuring that they will continue to have access to the medical equipment they need and the level of service required. We are excited and gratified that there is recognition of the unique needs that are addressed by rehab and assistive technology and that it deserves special consideration in the national competitive acquisition program."

NCART's second annual Rehab Technology Fair and Congressional Fly-In will start Monday afternoon, May 22, at the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel with a Congressional briefing and rehab industry update to prepare attendees for lobbying on Capitol Hill the following day. The May 23 Rehab Technology Fair seeks to educate members of Congress and their staffs via in-person demonstrations on why competitive bidding programs are not appropriate for rehab equipment.

For more information on the Fly-In ù with free registration ù go to www.ncart.us.

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