NCART Establishes Repair Coalition
- By Laurie Watanabe
- Jul 07, 2022
NCART has established a National CRT Repair Coalition that will focus on improving repair issues on a national scale as well as at the state level.
Wheelchair repair issues have been making national news, with articles appearing in U.S. News & World Report (via the Kaiser Family Foundation) and Mother Jones as two recent examples.
The news coverage comes at a time when consumer “right-to-repair” bills are gaining traction.
While NCART and other industry stakeholders acknowledge that many consumers are experiencing extended wait times for wheelchair service and repairs — a situation exacerbated by COVID-related supply chain and shipping issues — they say delegating repairs to consumers and caregivers via right-to-repair laws isn’t the answer.
In its June newsletter, NCART said, “There can be significant barriers for users of CRT [Complex Rehab Technology] wheelchairs and other CRT items when accessing timely repairs and service. Many of these issues stem from poor policies, excessive documentation requirements, unnecessary prior authorization requirements, and insufficient payment rates of federal, state, and commercial insurance plans that are estimated to fund over 90 percent of these services.
“The challenges to timely access to repairs is a complicated problem that requires the pursuit of multiple changes to resolve. While there have been some targeted efforts in this area over the years, more is needed. To enhance and coordinate the collective advocacy activities at the federal and state level, NCART is establishing a National CRT Repair Coalition.”
The Coalition — made up of providers, manufacturers, clinicians, consumers, and others involved in the repair process, NCART said — will strive “to secure needed policy and funding changes at the federal, state, and commercial payor levels to enable CRT users to have access to timely and professional repair services.”
Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at email@example.com.