Help Get H.R. 3730 Passed To Protect CRT Manual Wheelchair Accessories

September 12, 2017

CRT Stakeholders and Friends,

H.R. 3730 is the new bill to stop CMS’ inappropriate application of Medicare Competitive Bid pricing to CRT manual wheelchair accessories (critical wheelchair components). As reported, this new legislation is being led by Representatives Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and John Larson (D-CT) and they were joined in this bipartisan introduction by 41 original cosponsors. This fix is critical to protect access for people with disabilities who rely on CRT manual wheelchairs.

It’s a very busy/chaotic time in Congress. The bipartisan introduction of H.R. 3730 by 43 Representatives is a great start, but it’s important everyone now take the time to reach out to their Representative and get them to sign as a cosponsor. The CRT community will need to work hard to be get this supported and passed. You can see the list of the Representatives signed on so far here and access the related legislative position paper here.

We’ve updated the materials and tools at www.protectmymobility.org to make your outreach to your Representative as easy as possible. Visit the site and use the H.R. 3730 email and call links to get to your Representative’s office. Remember, polite persistence is key to a successful outcome.

Side Note: We expect a Senate companion bill to be introduced shortly. But for now, our focus is on securing House of Representatives cosponsors.

Thanks for taking the time to contact your Representative and secure them as a cosponsor. Please spread the word to others so they can use the tools and do the same.

Regards,

Don

Donald E. Clayback
Executive Director | NCART
Office 716-839-9728 | Cell 716-913-4754
dclayback@ncart.us | www.ncart.us

P.S. If you know of any other stakeholders that would like to receive updates like these, have them join our mailing list here!

CRT Accessories Legislation Introduced By 43 Representatives

September 8, 2017

CRT Stakeholders,

Very good news for people with disabilities who rely on CRT manual wheelchairs and accessories (better referred to as critical components).  Needed legislation has been introduced in Congress by 43 members of the House of Representatives.

Legislation was introduced today by Representatives Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and John Larson (D-CT) to stop CMS from using Competitive Bid pricing for accessories used with CRT manual wheelchairs.  They were joined in this bipartisan action by 41 original cosponsors (19 Republicans and 22 Democrats) and includes excellent representation from the key Congressional Committees.  You can see the list of the 43 Representatives by state here.

This bill is needed to resolve the lingering issue of CMS applying competitive bid pricing to accessories used with CRT manual wheelchairs.  Unfortunately, a June policy change by CMS solved the problem for CRT power wheelchairs but did not extend that same correction to CRT manual wheelchair accessories.  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.

Our sincere thanks to Representative Zeldin, Representative Larson, and the other Representatives who joined as original cosponsors for their leadership to protect access for people with disabilities.

We will have the official bill number on Monday and will be updating related materials and the email/phone tools to help secure additional cosponsors.  Watch for more details Monday.

Regards,

Don

Donald E. Clayback
Executive Director | NCART
Office 716-839-9728 | Cell 716-913-4754
dclayback@ncart.us | www.ncart.us

P.S. If you know of any other stakeholders that would like to receive updates like these, have them join our mailing list here!

Medicare DME Hurricane Harvey Guidance

September 8, 2017

CRT Providers and Manufacturers,

Our thoughts and prayers continue for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey and to those who will be impacted by Hurricane Irma in the coming days.

CMS has issued formal guidance for DME providers relating to “emergency” DME replacements and that document can be found here.  The highlights are:

  • When DMEPOS are lost, destroyed, irreparably damaged, or otherwise rendered unusable due to circumstances relating to a declared emergency, Medicare will pay for the replacement DMEPOS that a Medicare beneficiary owns or purchased.
  • The Secretary has established a blanket waiver under section 1135 of the Social Security Act such that the face-to-face requirement, a new physician’s order, and new medical necessity documentation are not required for replacement. Suppliers must still include a narrative description on the claim explaining the reason why the equipment must be replaced and are reminded to maintain documentation indicating that the DMEPOS was lost, destroyed, irreparably damaged or otherwise rendered unusable as a result of the hurricane.
  • CMS has informed AAHomecare that the rental cycle will start over for capped rental and oxygen equipment that are replaced due to the hurricane.
  • If applicable, beneficiaries must use a contract supplier (or an approved sub-contractor) if they need a DMEPOS Competitive Bidding item and are in a Competitive Bidding Area impacted by the hurricane.
  • All Medicare-enrolled DMEPOS suppliers can contact the DME MAC Jurisdiction C Customer Service Center at 1-866-270-4909 for assistance and guidance.

Should you have any questions or if we can be of assistance please let us know.

Regards,

Don

Donald E. Clayback
Executive Director | NCART
Office 716-839-9728 | Cell 716-913-4754
dclayback@ncart.us | www.ncart.us

P.S. If you know of any other stakeholders that would like to receive updates like these, have them join our mailing list here!

Get Cosponsors for CRT Manual Wheelchair Accessories Bill

August 30, 2017

CRT Stakeholders and Friends,

We need your Representative to join in the introduction of new legislation to stop the Medicare cuts to CRT manual wheelchair accessories.

As we reported earlier this month, Representatives Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and John Larson (D-CT) will be introducing NEW legislation in September to stop CMS’ application of Medicare Competitive Bid pricing to accessories used with CRT manual wheelchairs.

Representatives Zeldin and Larson are seeking additional House members to join them in the September introduction. You can see the list of members who have already agreed to be an original cosponsor here.

If your Representative is not on the list, please reach out and ask him/her to sign on by contacting either office. Use the Issue Paper available here to make your request.  The new legislation to be introduced can be found here.

Thanks for reaching out this week.

Regards,

Don

Donald E. Clayback
Executive Director | NCART
Office 716-839-9728 | Cell 716-913-4754
dclayback@ncart.us | www.ncart.us

 

P.S. If you know of any other stakeholders that would like to receive updates like these, have them join our mailing list here!

National CRT Provider Financial Survey

August 24, 2017

CRT Providers,

Please help us help you. As NCART continues to work to protect access to CRT, we need updated industry financial and operational information for our advocacy activities. And we can’t get it without your help.

To that end we have commissioned the Saunders College of Business at the Rochester Institute of Technology (R.I.T.) in Rochester, N. Y. (www.saunders.rit.edu) to conduct a CONFIDENTIAL National CRT Provider Financial Survey. The study will be supervised by Raj S. Murthy, Ph.D., an Associate Professor of Marketing at the college.

The last time we did a national CRT industry survey was in 2008. You can view a copy of that report here. While this information has been very helpful over the years in our discussions with legislators and policy makers, we need more current data.

The Saunders College survey seeks limited financial and operational data from CRT providers for calendar/fiscal year 2016 and will be conducted in the month of September. All information will be submitted directly to the college and held in strict confidence. The survey report will only disclose group data, so no individual company information will become public.

This survey is open to ALL CRT providers.

In addition to providing information critical to CRT advocacy, participating companies will receive a free copy of the final report. This is a $495 value and will provide financial and operating information that will help you better manage your CRT business in these challenging times.

The first step in the survey process is to register your company with the Saunders College indicating you are willing to participate. You can go to https://goo.gl/jY2m5R to view a 2-minute video invitation, get additional details, and follow the instructions to sign up.

Thanks for giving serious consideration to helping us help you. Let me know if you have any
questions.

Regards,

Don

Donald E. Clayback
Executive Director | NCART
Office 716-839-9728 | Cell 716-913-4754
dclayback@ncart.us | www.ncart.us

P.S. If you know of any other stakeholders that would like to receive updates like these, have them join our mailing list here!

New House Bill to Fix CRT Manual Wheelchair Accessories

August 3, 2017

CRT Stakeholders and Friends,

Representatives Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and John Larson (D-CT) will be introducing legislation in September to stop CMS’ application of Medicare Competitive Bid pricing to accessories used with CRT manual wheelchairs. This will replace the previously introduced broader bill, H.R. 1361, written to prohibit CMS from using Competitive Bid pricing for accessories used with either CRT power or CRT manual wheelchairs.

The CRT “power” wheelchair accessories issue was resolved in late June when CMS announced a policy clarification stating it would not use Competitive Bid pricing for accessories used with Group 3 CRT power wheelchairs. We again thank CMS and Congress for that needed action.

Unfortunately, the clarification did not extend to accessories used with CRT “manual” wheelchairs so this follow up legislation is required. Passage of this new bill is needed to fix the current disparity that prevents people who use a CRT manual wheelchair from having the same access to CRT accessories as those using a CRT power wheelchair. The new legislative language can be viewed here.

During the August recess Representatives Zeldin and Larson are seeking additional House members to join in the September introduction. You can see the list of members who have already agreed to be an original cosponsor here. If your Representative is not on the list, please reach out and ask him/her to sign on by contacting either office. Use the Issue Paper available here to make your request.

Thanks for your continued engagement and we’ll keep you updated on the progress.

Regards,

Don

Donald E. Clayback
Executive Director | NCART
Office 716-839-9728 | Cell 716-913-4754
dclayback@ncart.us | www.ncart.us

P.S. If you’d like to stay updated on CRT news, join our mailing list here!

Importance of Supporting Organizations like NCART

Importance of Supporting Organizations like NCART

Although there are many organizations out there you can choose to throw your support behind, NCART and organizations like it, are like no other. We work every day to help those who supply or manufacture Complex Rehab Technology ensure their consumers are afforded access to meet their needs. Read why you should support organizations like NCART and the work we do.

Working for Others

At NCART we work and support the manufacturers and providers that help those who rely on Complex Rehab Technology. On behalf of our members we help provide education and advocacy to ensure we protect access for consumers to the CRT vital to their wellbeing and sense of independence. When you support us, you’re supporting the livelihood of others and the betterment of their quality of life.

Protect Access to CRT

When you back our organization, it shows Congress, state legislators, policy makers, clinicians, and others that CRT is important. It allows us to provide education that leads to a greater knowledge about the intricacies of providing CRT and urges interest to keep improving access.

 Provide Crucial Information

We provide information for those in and outside of the CRT industry. We’re always looking to promote and protect access to CRT and we need our supporters help to spread the word as well. When you support an organization like NCART, you’re working alongside us and can help share our educational materials and messages.

We hope that these points help show you why organizations like NCART are so vital to the community. We’d like to thank everyone in the field who dedicates their time to helping others. If you have any questions about your CRT or any other assistive and rehab technology, contact us today!

CRT Power Wheelchair Accessories Cuts Averted

June 23, 2017

CRT Stakeholders and Friends,

Late today the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it will NOT be applying Medicare Competitive Bid Program information to reduce payment rates for Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) Group 3 power wheelchair accessories. This averts significant cuts that were scheduled to go into effect July 1 and avoids drastic reductions in access to this specialized equipment.

This is great news people with disabilities who rely on CRT Group 3 power wheelchairs. Unfortunately, there was no change in payment rates for accessories used with CRT manual wheelchairs. But we will build on this victory and pursue relief from cuts to CRT manual accessories as we continue to work with Congress and CMS to protect CRT access.

A copy of the CMS announcement can be found here. CMS instructs providers to continue using the KU modifier for billing accessories furnished with CRT Group 3 power wheelchairs. There are no additional actions required for claims with dates of service on or after July 1.

Our thanks to HHS Secretary Tom Price and CMS Administrator Seema Verma for making this needed policy correction. We particularly thank CRT Champions Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) and Representatives Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and John Larson (D-CT) for their leadership and commitment to protect people with disabilities. Additional thanks to the leadership and staff of the Senate Finance, House Energy & Commerce, and House Ways & Means Committees who worked very hard to resolve this issue. Please take time next week to email your Members of Congress and thank them for their support.

This policy correction would never have happened without the dedication and collective advocacy work of the whole CRT community! Sincere thanks to all the consumers, disability organizations, clinicians, providers, manufacturers, and others who worked extremely hard to produce this outcome. It’s through CRT stakeholders coming together in even greater numbers that this was accomplished.

With your continued support and engagement, we will build on this win and work even harder to protect access to CRT on the federal, state, and private insurance levels.

Regards,

Don

Donald E. Clayback
Executive Director | NCART
Office 716-839-9728 | Cell 716-913-4754
dclayback@ncart.us | www.ncart.us

NCART Update on Letter to Sec. Price and Administrator Verma

June 12, 2017

CRT Stakeholders and Friends,

Thanks to everyone’s work the House letter to HHS Secretary Price and CMS Administrator Verma finished last week with a total of 145 signatures. You can locate the list of Representatives who signed the letter here. It is expected that the letter will be sent to HHS and CMS this week.

As we get closer to the June 30 deadline for Congressional intervention, stakeholders must continue to push for decisive action that halts implementation of inappropriate cuts to CRT Wheelchair accessories.

A pre-written email is available to send to your Senators and Representative at www.protectmymobility.org.  Be sure to contact your Member’s offices this week and share the link with others so that they can reach out too.  Every message counts!

We will continue to share updates as they become available.  Thanks for your participation!

Regards,

Don

Donald E. Clayback
Executive Director | NCART
Office 716-839-9728 | Cell 716-913-4754
dclayback@ncart.us | www.ncart.us

Has Your House Representative Signed the Secretary Price Letter?

June 7, 2017

CRT Stakeholders and Friends,

There are only two more days to ask your Representative to sign on to the House letter being sent to HHS Secretary Price and CMS Administrator Verma. The letter asks for needed improvements in Medicare’s DME policies and to stop inappropriate payment cuts to CRT Wheelchair Accessories.

Check the list of current signers here to see if your Representative has already signed on. If they haven’t you can send a pre-written email via the AA Homecare legislative action center here. Your message will help reinforce the urgent need to stop the July 1 payment cuts to CRT wheelchair accessories. The opportunity for new signatures ends this Friday.

Thanks for your participation!

Regards,

Don

Donald E. Clayback
Executive Director | NCART
Office 716-839-9728 | Cell 716-913-4754
dclayback@ncart.us | www.ncart.us

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