A much-anticipated bill that would amend Medicare reimbursement policies for manual wheelchair accessories has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Don Clayback, executive director of NCART, said in a Sept. 8 e-mail to stakeholders that Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) had introduced H.R. 3730 that day. The bill was introduced with 41 original co-sponsors – 19 Republicans and 22 Democrats.
Clayback said that the bill’s list of original co-sponsors “includes excellent representation from the key Congressional committees.” He added that a Senate version of the bill should be introduced soon.
The bill was introduced in response to current Medicare policy, which uses competitive bidding-derived pricing to set allowables for accessories used on complex rehab technology (CRT) manual wheelchairs.
Accessories used on CRT power wheelchairs were originally under the same sort of policy, but that policy was changed in June.
CRT manual wheelchairs weren’t included in that policy change, making the new House bill a necessity to ensure continued beneficiary access to what Clayback referred to as “critical components.”
“People with disabilities who use a CRT manual wheelchair should have the same access to critical wheelchair components as those who use a CRT power wheelchair,” Clayback said. “Our sincere thanks to Rep. Zeldin, Rep. Larson and the other representatives who joined as original co-sponsors for their leadership to protect access for people with disabilities.”