CRT Separate Benefit Bills Gain Momentum

The two Congressional bills aimed at creating a separate benefit category for complex rehab technology (CRT) have gained additional support, according to a bulletin issued by NCART.

NCART Executive Director Don Clayback said H.R. 942, the House bill, is up to 77 co-sponsors.

"That's an addition of 11 members in the last month and is a credit to the outreach CRT stakeholders did during the August [Congressional] recess," Clayback stated in the bulletin.

He also lauded the bipartisan support that the bill has received: So far, 51 Democrats and 26 Republicans have signed on as co-sponsors.

"We also have strong key committee support with 11 members of the Ways & Means Committee and 10 members of the Energy & Commerce committee," Clayback added.

Five senators - two Republicans and three Democrats -- have signed on to support the Senate version of the bill, known as S. 948. Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), who co-introduced the bill, plan to send out a "Dear Colleague" letter in the coming days to seek support from their colleagues.

Clayback said activities during National CRT Week, Aug. 19-23, helped boost support for the bills.

"Our first annual National CRT Week proved a success, as CRT stakeholders from across the country took the opportunity to connect with their members of Congress during the August recess," Clayback explained. "Multiple on-site visits were held at provider or clinical facilities with [Congressional] members or their senior staff visiting to see first-hand what CRT is, who uses it, how it's provided, and the important role it plays in the lives of people with disabilities. Meetings were also held in members' district offices, and other meetings took place at community settings."

As for the upcoming months, Clayback noted that Congress will have a packed agenda. "We need to continue to add co-sponsors to our CRT bills as we move through September and October," he said. Industry advocates looking for resources on the topic can visit access2crt.org.

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at lwatanabe@1105media.com.

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