NCART: Wheelchair Accessories Bills Gaining Momentum, But More Signatures Needed

The pair of Congressional bills written to prevent major funding cuts to Medicare-purchased complex rehab wheelchair accessories is gaining co-sponsors, but NCART says more signatures are needed.

H.R. 3229 and S. 2196 seek to stop Medicare from applying allowables derived from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) DME competitive bidding program to accessories used on complex rehab technology (CRT) wheelchairs. CMS plans to implement the new pricing on Jan. 1.

Don Clayback, executive director of NCART, said in a Nov. 5 bulletin to stakeholders, “We are making significant progress in stopping major payment cuts to complex rehab wheelchair accessories, but we need more co-sponsors on our Congressional legislation. Our success rests on CRT stakeholder actions during the next two to three weeks.”

As of Nov. 5, the House bill had 51 co-sponsors, and the companion Senate bill had four.

“Our Congressional champions are telling us they need more co-sponsors on both bills so they can push for passage,” Clayback said. He reminded stakeholders that the two bills are among hundreds jockeying for attention from members of Congress.

Clayback urged industry members, consumers and other stakeholders to go to protectmymobility.org to e-mail members of Congress about the bills. The site also has educational resources about the bills, including a list of co-sponsors, letters sent to Congress, and letters of support from consumer advocacy organizations.

Stakeholders who have already sent letters or called their members of Congress about the issue should follow through until Representatives and Senators sign on, Clayback added: “Your polite persistence is critical so they understand the urgency of this issue and need for Congressional action this year.”

About the Author

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

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