Complex rehab advocates turn up heat on Congress

Thursday, September 1, 2016

WASHINGTON – Two consumer organizations have sent letters to lawmakers urging them to pass bills that would permanently protect complex rehab accessories from competitive bidding pricing.

The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), a coalition of approximately 100 national disability organizations, and the Independence Through Enhancement of Medicare and Medicaid Coalition (ITEM) sent letters to 10 senators and representatives, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

“The disability community is grateful for this delay but urges Congress to pass the permanent solution contained in S. 2196/H.R. 3229 by year’s end—this will allow people with significant disabilities to have the access they need to CRT power and manual wheelchair accessories,” the CCD wrote. “From the consumer perspective, it is essential that both CRT power and manual accessories are exempted from competitive bidding.”

A bill passed in 2015 delayed CMS’s plans to apply bid pricing to complex rehab accessories until Jan. 1, 2017.

In addition to the letters, Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., who co-sponsored H.R. 3229, held a press conference at The Children's Center at United Cerebral Palsy of Long Island, a school for students with developmental disabilities, calling for Congress to pass legislation this year.

“These positive developments come at an excellent time,” wrote Don Clayback, executive director of NCART, in an update.

Congress will be back in session Tuesday, Sept. 6.