Monthly Archives: June 2016

CMS Releases July 1 Medicare DME Fee Schedules with Major Cut

June 24, 2016

CRT Stakeholders and Friends,

Late yesterday afternoon CMS finally released the July 1 Medicare DME Fee Schedules. A mere 5 business days before the reduced payment amounts go into effect!

As feared, the payment reductions due to the full application of Competitive Bid Program information, including new data from the recent Round 2 Recompete, are major.

Unfortunately HME legislation to delay these cuts was passed in the Senate on Tuesday, but a similar bill in the House that was scheduled for a vote Wednesday was never acted on due to the Congressional “sit-in” and the subsequent adjournment of the House until July 5.

The related CMS Fact Sheet can be found here. Based on that document, the July 1 payment amount cuts (from 2015 payment amounts) for DME items include: Oxygen Concentrator 56% cut; Nebulizer 68% cut; Hospital Bed 55% cut; Walker 58% cut; Commode 56% cut; Standard Manual Wheelchair 60% cut; and Standard Power Wheelchair 53% cut.

The detailed July 1 Fee Schedules can be found here.

We are in the process of analyzing the July 1 payment cuts that apply to wheelchair accessories and will report that information as soon as our analysis is complete.

These major reductions further underscore the need for us to push for passage of H.R. 3229 and S. 2196 this year to protect accessories used on complex rehab power and manual wheelchairs!

More also to follow on that.

CRT Education and Advocacy in Washington, DC July 12-14

CRT Education and Advocacy in Washington, DC July 12-14

CRT Stakeholders,

This is a critical year for taking the CRT message to Congress.

We need to build on the significant progress we have made and push for passage of legislation to prevent significant payment cuts to CRT wheelchair accessories on December 31 (H.R. 3229 and S. 2196) and to create a separate CRT benefit category (H.R. 1516 and S. 1013).

With that in mind, CRT stakeholders are encouraged to sign up for the “new and combined” 2016 Assistive Technology Conference being held July 12 to July 14 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia being presented by RESNA, NCART, and NRRTS.

Attendees will benefit from a continuation of sessions covering business topics for the management teams of CRT providers and manufacturers plus funding and advocacy topics for all CRT stakeholders regarding the latest CRT Medicare and Medicaid trends, issues, and advocacy strategies.

In addition, the CRT “business” sessions are now supplemented by great CEU-earning seating and mobility workshops designed for the practicing Rehab Technology Professional.

Most importantly, July 14 will be Capitol Hill Day enabling everyone to take the CRT message directly to Congress. Providers, manufacturers, consumers, clinicians, and other advocates will spend the day making in-person visits to Members’ offices. Once you sign up, we’ll make the appointments for you.

So come join other CRT stakeholders for unparalleled continuing education, networking, and advocacy!

You can get more details and register online at http://www.ncart.us/crtconference.

Get Excited! It’s almost time! Preview of the 2016 RESNA/NCART Conference, Part 2

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In our previous blog, we highlighted some of the things we’re looking forward to during the 2016 RESNA/NCART conference. We would like to continue that preview for today’s blog:

CRT Legislative and Regulatory Update

The policy landscape for CRT is ever-changing, and this session’s aim is to keep attendees abreast of those changes. Industry experts will provide a comprehensive look at what’s going on at both the federal and state levels. Some of the things covered will include: Medicare Separate Benefit Category legislation, Medicare’s application of Competitive Bid pricing to CRT wheelchair accessories, other Medicare issues and state CRT legislation.

Seating, Mobility, and CRT Show and Tell

Just as the regulations surrounding CRT are constantly changing, so are the technologies going into them. This session will allow attendees to have a hands-on demonstration of recent emerging and innovative technologies for Complex Rehab Technology.

Capitol Hill Visits

If you have a stake at all in the world of Complex Rehab Technology, we would encourage you to attend this event! During this visit, you will have direct access to the policy makers who impact the legislation around CRT. Participants will be able to meet with both their senators and representatives in Congress. Those who do sign up for the Capitol Hill Visit will be required to attend the session titled “Congressional Prep for Capitol Hill Visits” The session will equip you with talking points about specific target issues, as well as familiarize you with the logistics of the visit.

The actual time that you visit with congressional members will vary. Since you will meet with the representatives from your area, everyone will meet with different legislators, and not all of them are on the same schedule. Remember, if you attend this session, you will need to dress appropriately! Dark suits for men, and pants or skirt suits for women.

 

We’re looking forward to seeing all of our supporters at this year’s conference! You can find full conference information here.

Get Excited! It’s almost time! Preview of the 2016 RESNA/NCART Conference, Part 1

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The 2016 RESNA/NCART conference is coming up soon! We’re excited to gather together with like-minded individuals and talk about the issues that are impacting us. For today’s blog, we’re going to talk about some of the highlights from the conference we’re looking forward to:

CRT Industry Leader’s Panel

Those who provide complex rehab technology know that our industry is facing many changes. This session will feature a panel of industry leaders who will share their thoughts and perspectives about what’s happening. Those who attend this session can expect to walk away with both an overview of the industry changes, as well as suggestions as to what to do.

No More Addendums! Get it right the First Time when Documenting the Medical Necessity for Complex Rehab Technology

This interactive workshop will help attendees gain some insight into Medicare documentation requirements. All clinicians are familiar with the frustration of having a patient who clearly needs complex rehab technology, but then are told the documentation doesn’t reflect medical necessity. This session will present in an easy-to-understand manner what it is Medicare expects. Those in attendance will have the chance to review actual wheelchair evaluations, and report back to the rest of the group what they found.

CRT Town Hall

If you need to speak your mind about something, this is the place to do it! The CRT Town Hall offers an open forum for people to talk about the many topics surrounding the CRT industry, including its future. The actual topics will be based on attendee suggestions, although they must be suitable for group discussion.

Those are just a handful of the sessions that we’re most excited about. With the conference coming up fast, we would like encourage you to register, if you haven’t already done so. We hope to see you there!

GAO Report on CRT Wheelchair Accessories Released

June 2, 2016

CRT Stakeholders and Friends,

Yesterday afternoon the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released their report to Congress regarding Group 3 Complex Rehab Power wheelchair accessories.

This report was required as part of year end legislation that implemented a one year delay in the application of competitive bid pricing rates to accessories used with Group 3 Complex Rehab Power Wheelchairs.

The report focuses on (1) the utilization and expenditures for Medicare wheelchairs and accessories, in particular for Group 3 Complex Rehab Power Wheelchairs and the accessories used with them; and (2) how the 2016 Competitive Bidding Program adjusted payment rates for wheelchair accessories, in particular those furnished in connection with Group 3 Complex Rehab Power Wheelchairs, compare to the 2016 unadjusted fee schedule payment rates for the same items.

You can download a copy of the report at http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-16-640R.

Based on our initial review, the report is very data driven and validates the information CRT stakeholders have shared with Congress in support of passage of the CRT Wheelchair Accessory Legislation (H.R. 3229 and S. 2196).

We are in the process of fully analyzing the report and will be sharing more details shortly.

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 other CRT stakeholders who would like to receive these types of updates please have them sign up at the NCART website.

NCART - 54 Towhee Court - East Amherst, NY 14051 - Office: (716) 839-9728 - Fax: (716) 839-9624

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