NCART: CRT Focused on 3 Areas as Pandemic Policies Evolve

The complex rehab technology (CRT) industry is focused on a trio of issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic that’s resulting in changes to healthcare policies, said Don Clayback, Executive Director of NCART.

In an April 28 e-mail to industry members, Clayback said NCART and other organizations are currently concentrating on “three areas of focus: (a) pursuing an upcoming Interim Final Rule from CMS [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] that will have further guidance that hopefully will include allowing [physical therapists] and [occupational therapists] to provide telehealth services under Medicare; (b) obtaining Medicare DME MACs implementation instructions that will answer the questions we have submitted regarding documentation requirements and clarification on in-person encounters; and (c) working with targeted states on additional relief needed to allow continued CRT access.”

Clayback added, “We also are in the process of forming a multi-organization workgroup to develop information and protocols to support the permanent use of remote technology as an option in the provision of CRT when appropriate.”

NCART, NRRTS, U.S. Rehab, and the Clinician Task Force have been cohosting weekly Webinars for the last month. Past Webinar recordings and presentations are available on the NCART and NRRTS Web sites.

Other related organizations, including the American Association for Homecare, AOTA, APTA, RESNA, and state associations, have also been working on issues that concern access to CRT during the pandemic.

Among the topics discussed during the Webinars is the anticipated backlog of client evaluations and equipment deliveries once consumers are again willing and able to return to seating and wheelchair clinics.

Clayback made clear in his bulletin that the CRT industry will be feeling the effects of the pandemic for a long time.

“Our industry will be dealing with the impact of COVID-19 for many months and into 2021,” he said. “This pandemic will have a significant impact on upcoming federal and state budgets. The suspensions and closures of schools and wheelchair clinics will create barriers to maintaining needed evaluations, deliveries, and repairs of CRT. These new challenges and protocols will necessitate renewed advocacy, creativity and collaboration.”

 

About the Author

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