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Strides In CRT Legislation – Your Actions Are Needed!

There has been a lot of momentum regarding CRT legislation in the past month. All of these bills support increased accessibility and reimbursement for complex rehab wheelchairs and accessories. Please take a few minutes today to reach out to your congressional leaders, asking them to support the following CRT related legislation. Separate Benefit Legislation - H.R. 2408 - Last week Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.) re-introduced legislation to create a separate benefit category for CRT within the Medicare program. This bill will allow for needed improvements in coverage policies, coding, and quality standards to better address the unique needs of people with significant disabilities and chronic medical conditions. This bill would designate certain existing codes as CRT and would allow for the creation of new codes specific to CRT. It would also increase supplier standards to include an ATP plus “enhanced credential- and a repair capability requirement, according to information shared at the National CRT Leadership and Advocacy Conference. Click here to reach out to your member of Congress about H.R. 2408. Manual Wheelchair Legislation - H.R. 2293 and S. 1223 - In mid-April, we announced that Reps. John Larson (D-Conn.) and Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) introduced H.R. 2293, also known as the “Protecting Access to Complex Rehab Manual Wheelchairs Act.- Click here to view the current list of 27 co-sponsors on this bill. This bill would permanently exclude manual complex rehabilitative technology (CRT) wheelchairs from the Competitive Bidding Program and will stop Medicare from applying competitive bidding rates to manual CRT wheelchair accessories for 18 months. On Monday, April 29, Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) introduced the Senate companion bill, S. 1223. Together, the companion bills re-introduce legislative language that originally debuted in 115th Congress. An updated position paper that includes both the Senate and House bill information, provided by NCART, is available here. Click here to reach out to your senators and representatives about these bills. These actions provided the attendees of last week's National CRT Leadership and Advocacy Conference with excellent momentum to pursuing cosponsors for these CRT bills. U.S. Rehab's president, Greg Packer, and Tyler Mahncke, operations and business development manager, along with VGM Government Relations Director Tom Powers, met with Iowa representatives on Capitol Hill to advocate for CRT legislation. Meetings were held with staff members of Reps. Abby Finkenauer (Dem.), Cindy Axne (Dem.), and Dave Loebsack (Dem.). They were also able to meet with key health policy staff members of Iowa's senators Chuck Grassley (Rep.) and Joni Ernst (Rep.). These meetings went very well and left U.S. Rehab feeling optimistic about keeping the momentum going for the current CRT legislation. U.S. Rehab and VGM Government Relations will continue to inform our members as we receive updates on these items.
VGM's Tyler Mahncke, Greg Packer, and Tom Powers
VGM's Greg Packer, Tyler Mahncke, and Tom Powers meet with Max Ernst (right) of Rep. Abby Finkenauer's office.