‘I guess my crystal ball was cloudy that day ...we’re ready to take it into

 - 
Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Rehab petition push continues

FRANKLIN, Tenn. - The Rehab Technology Initiative (RTI) tried to breathe new life into its grassroots signature campaign last month by sending out a second mailing to 1,300 rehab providers.

The campaign, which aims to limit Medicare reimbursement for rehab equipment to providers who employ professionals with certifications, was launched at Medtrade more than one year ago, but its petition has yielded 2,500 signatures - or 97,500 signatures short of its goal.

The petition asks Congress to limit Medicare reimbursement for rehab equipment to providers who employ professionals with certifications from either the National Registry of Rehabilitation Technology Suppliers (NRRTS) or the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA). Such certifications include NRRTS’s certified rehab technology supplier (CRTS) and RESNA’s assistive technology practitioner (ATP).

A big reason why RTI did not meet its goal of 100,000 signatures is because the industry has been so preoccupied with fighting competitive bidding. Margolis said RTI backed off its campaign to join the fight, but with Congress slated to settle that issue soon, it is now regrouping. He said the campaign recently received renewed interest from several people, including David Miller, president and CEO of the Lubbock, Texas-based The MED Group. Miller has agreed to send the petition to members.

Margolis said that although RTI had originally planned to present the petition to Congress last fall, it is now aiming for the beginning of this year, when the new Congress is in place. He would not say whether RTI has a new goal for the number of signatures it hopes to collect.

“I think 5,000 signatures would have an impact,” Margolis said. “Something is better than nothing. This is a step toward where the rehab profession wants to go.” HME

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