Accessories relief stalls in Senate

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Friday, December 28, 2018

WASHINGTON – The window for the Senate to pass accessories relief is “narrowing” rapidly.

Amidst a government shutdown, the Senate returned to session at 4 p.m. Thursday for only a few minutes and took no action on H.R. 7217 or any other legislation. It will reconvene on Monday at 10 a.m., before the 115th Congress comes to a close, according to industry stakeholders.

“So the legislative session remains open and we will see what progress is made between now and then on the shutdown and the possibility of H.R. 7217,” said Don Clayback, executive director of NCART in an email.

H.R. 7217, a larger Medicaid bill that incudes language requiring CMS to stop applying competitive bidding pricing to accessories for complex rehab manual wheelchairs for 18 months, passed in the House of Representatives on Dec. 11. The bill would also create a permanent exemption from the bid program for complex rehab manual wheelchair bases.

H.R. 7217 has been “on hold” in the Senate for reasons that stakeholders have been told are not related to the complex rehab-related provisions.

“Coupled with the impasse over federal spending legislation that has shut down some government functions, the prospects for moving this legislation are narrowing,” AAHomecare reported in a bulletin this week.

NCART acknowledges it’s a “long-shot,” but “we continue to stay in contact with our champions and will keep you updated on progress.”