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!