A Win for CRT Consumers

CRT manual wheelchairs are now protected from competitive bidding. Next up: manual wheelchair accessories.

The Dec. 20 signing of H.R. 1865 into law created the permanent exclusion of complex rehab technology (CRT) manual wheelchair bases from Medicare’s highly criticized competitive bidding program.

In addition, the bill – signed by President Trump a few days before Christmas — includes an 18-month suspension of the Medicare policy that applied competitive bidding-derived pricing to CRT manual wheelchair accessories.

In a Dec. 20 e-mail to stakeholders, NCART Executive Director Don Clayback said that delay, which began Jan. 1, “will allow for further discussions to achieve a permanent resolution” regarding allowables for those accessories.

Winning protection for CRT manual wheelchair bases has been a long haul that required the efforts of everyone from the “CRT champions” in Congress to industry and consumer organizations.

In his e-mail, Clayback expressed gratitude to a number of Representatives and Senators: “Our sincere thanks to our CRT champions Reps. John Larson (D-Conn.) and Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) and Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) for their leadership and hard work. We're also grateful to Energy & Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-Ore.), Ways & Means Committee Chair Richie Neal (D-Mass.) and Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-Texas), and Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).”

Clayback also thanked industry “partners,” including the American Association for Homecare, NRRTS, and U.S. Rehab; industry organizations, such as the Clinician Task Force and RESNA; and a long list of consumer advocacy organizations, such as the ITEM Coalition, United Spinal Association, Paralyzed Veterans of America, and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.

“Thanks to everyone who has played a part,” Clayback said. “It wasn't quick and it wasn't easy, but everyone's outreach and persistence paid off.”

About the Author

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

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