Support for CRT Manual Wheelchair Protection Keeps Growing

Industry efforts to protect consumer access to complex rehab technology (CRT) manual wheelchairs and their critical components are paying off this summer.

Last week, the American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare) reported that the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy & Commerce Committee approved, by voice vote, legislation that includes provisions to permanently exclude CRT manual wheelchairs from Medicare’s controversial competitive bidding program. H.R. 2328, the Reauthorizing and Extending America’s Community Health (REACH) Act, also includes language that would exempt CRT manual wheelchair accessories, also known as critical components, from competitive bidding-derived reimbursement prices for 12 months, starting Jan. 1, 2020.

In a July 10 e-mail to stakeholders, NCART Executive Director Don Clayback explained that the year-long suspension “keeps the cost of the bill down to encourage passage, and we will use that time to work with CMS [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] to secure a permanent policy change.”

In June, language to protect CRT manual wheelchair access was included in H.R. 3416, the HEARTS and Rural Relief Act.

And H.R. 2293 is the original bill “to exclude complex rehabilitative manual wheelchairs from the Medicare competitive acquisition program.”

NCART noted that all of the bills have bipartisan support.

CRT manual wheelchair protection will be an industry focus during CRT Awareness Week, Aug. 19-23.

NCART is encouraging CRT stakeholders to advocate for industry initiatives, including CRT manual wheelchair protection, while members of Congress are home for the August recess. For more information on how to participate, contact Mickae Lee, NCART’s Director of Advocacy & Communication, by e-mailing mlee@ncart.us.

About the Author

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

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