Monthly Archives: July 2016

Remembering Simon Margolis

July 26, 2016

CRT Stakeholders and Friends,

It is with deep sadness we share the news that longtime leader and friend Simon Margolis passed away yesterday.

For those who didn’t know Simon, he spent his career as an Assistive Technology (AT) and Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) practitioner, industry leader, and advocate.

And even more important than that, he was a good man.

I knew and worked with Simon very closely in different capacities for over 30 years. And many others in the AT and CRT arena had that same honor. He was a great guy to have leading an initiative or as a member of your team.

When it came to CRT, Simon was all in. His many contributions to promoting access to the technology and services that improve the lives of people with disabilities are far too numerous to list.

As Gary Gilberti, past NCART President, said “As a clinician, provider, manufacturer, inventor, accreditation surveyor, or organizational leader Simon wore many hats and brought diverse perspectives to all his conversations”.

It is amazing when you look at the various roles and organizations Simon had a significant and positive influence on. During his career he was part of the leadership of all three major AT/CRT organizations. And he was part of the actual creation of two of them.

At RESNA, he served on the Board of Directors and as President. At NCART, he was one of our founders and served on our Board of Directors. And most importantly, at NRRTS he was one of the founders where he served on their Board, served as President, and then led NRRTS for seven years as Executive Director until his premature retirement in August 2013 due to health issues.

In all these positions, Simon’s passion and dedication had a common goal: protecting and improving access to high quality individually configured equipment that people with disabilities rely on and ensuring it was provided by qualified professionals and organizations.

Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife Marcia, his daughter Erica Negrini and son-in-law Tyler. Marcia and Erica were the real stars in his life and his love for them was evident in his personal conversations.
You can convey your thoughts to the family at http://bit.ly/2asMKDa.

Some people say when they die, they’d like their legacy to be that “I left the world a little better than it was when I came into it”. Simon can rest in peace knowing his dedicated contributions left the world much better for people with disabilities and for those of us who knew and worked with him.

Thank you Simon for the example you left us to follow. We will continue to advocate (fight) for access to CRT in your memory.

Respectfully,

Don

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

DME Rural Relief Legislation Did Not Pass

July 18, 2016

NCART Board and Supporters,

Unfortunately the Congressional legislation to impose a 3 month delay to the implementation of the July 1 DME cuts failed to pass the Senate on Friday.

Accordingly, the July 1 cuts will remain in effect unless Congress takes action when they return in September after their summer recess.

The 3 month delay legislation had passed in the House. But it failed to pass in the Senate on Friday due to a “hold” placed by an unidentified Senator as part of the Senate’s “hot line” process.

This further emphasizes the need to secure passage of H.R. 3229 and S. 2196 to stop the application of competitive bid rates to CRT power and manual wheelchair accessories.

We had a very good showing and discussions in Congress last week to secure passage of the CRT accessories legislation.

We will be sharing more details on that and on needed next steps shortly.

Don

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

What do we mean by accessories?

NCART_Blog_WhatDoWeMeanByAccessories

The fight to protect access to CRT accessories has been at the forefront of our legislative discussion. From delaying the application of competitive bid rates to the CMS’ ruling on billing instructions that directly violates S-2425, it’s the issue that has garnered the most attention. But what exactly are we talking about when we refer to CRT accessories?

We’re not talking about frills. The term “accessory” can be deceptive, as it brings to mind items that are nice but not necessarily needed. When we’re talking CRT, accessories include items that are vital to the user’s life and health.

Cushions are not a luxury. In many cases, accessories include things such as seating and positioning cushions. Just like the word “accessory,” this can also bring to mind something that’s a luxury and not a necessity. For CRT users, however, it’s the exact opposite. These cushions and seating positions keep them from developing sores and placing stress on the wrong muscles. It keeps them healthy while using their wheelchair for everyday life.

They include things that are essential to operating the wheelchair. It would be impossible to operate a wheelchair without the wheels or joystick. Yet, all these things are included in the accessory category. They also include miscellaneous parts that keep the chair going. If one of those parts goes out, it can be impossible for CRT users to get it replaced due to the red-tape and lack of funding.

Getting the right accessories is more difficult than it seems. Because of how the system is currently set up, CRT users often end up having to search for a CRT provider who will still supply the equipment.  Or even worse, they’re being provided less-than-ideal equipment, which leaves them unable to lead independent lives.

NCART and other CRT stakeholders continue to fight to protect accessories used with Complex Rehab Technology by promoting our federal legislation related to the issue.  H.R. 3229 and S. 2196 would permanently prevent CMS from applying Competitive Bid pricing to these specialized accessories. Visit www.ncart.us to learn more about how you can help join the fight!

 

How to tell your CRT story to your legislator

NCART_Blog_TellingYourCRTStoryToYourLegislators

If you’re lucky enough to attend the 2016 RESNA/NCART Conference, then you might be looking at the possibility of meeting with your legislator. While this may seem intimidating, it can actually be an excellent chance to tell your CRT story. Here are a few tips on how to make it successful:

  • Start with an introduction—who you are, where you live, what your connection is with the CRT world. If you use CRT, tell them for how long, even if it’s been your whole life.
  • Think of a specific personal incident that highlights why CRT is so important to you (if you use it) or to the people with whom you work. It doesn’t have to be dramatic or extreme to be impactful—just honest.
  • Talk about how current legislation impacts your or your clients’ access to CRT, and what changes need to be made.
  • Ask for a commitment to support legislation that will make access to CRT easier.
  • At the end of the meeting, remember to thank them for their time.

You can use these bullet points as a template to frame your story before you meet with legislators. The last thing you want is to walk out of the meeting thinking, “Oh, I should have said THIS!” Practice it several times beforehand. Legislators are pressed for time, so you don’t want to stumble as you try to find the word to convey what you want to say.

Remember to be real! This is your story, and you are the expert on this issue. It’s impossible for legislators to know everything about the topics they vote on, and they often rely on stories and input from their constituents before deciding how to vote. Your one visit can make all the difference.

If you find yourself stuck as you try to frame your story, our website has examples of other people telling their CRT story. Check out our video library for some inspiration.

 

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