NCART Seeks Support for Congressional Dear Colleague Letter

NCART is asking for industry support for a Dear Colleague letter that urges protection for complex rehab technology (CRT).

The letter, by Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) and Rep. Robert Latta (R-Ohio), asks members of the U.S. House of Representatives to sign on to support excluding CRT from Medicare competitive bidding pricing. The letter would be sent to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

NCART Executive Director Don Clayback said in a May 16 bulletin to stakeholders, “The letter formally informs CMS that Congress did not intend for DME competitive bid payment rates to be applied to CRT items as part of the 21st Century Cures Act legislation.”

NCART is seeking additional members of Congress to sign onto the Johnson and Latta letter. The extended deadline for members to sign on is Friday, May 25, at 12 noon Eastern time.

In their letter, Johnson and Latta state, “We are concerned that this Cures provision, included as a Cures pay-for, will be inappropriately applied to CRT. That Cures provision accelerated to 2018 a policy limiting the federal portion of funding to state Medicaid programs that is attributable to state DME fee-for-service payments. This policy had always been based on the idea that federal monies supporting state Medicaid programs should be limited to what Medicare was paying under its DME competitive bidding program.

“We are concerned that CMS’ implementation of this Cures provision will disproportionately impact CRT items and services, and consumer access will suffer. We believe CMS should exclude CRT items from these payment reductions because this ‘pay-for’ provision was originally intended to apply to DME items included in the DME competitive bidding program.”

Johnson and Latta add that Congress “has a record of recognizing that CRT items should be excluded from unnecessary payment cuts, such as the Medicare DME competitive bidding program.”

To see a copy of the letter, click HERE.


About the Author

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

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