Complex rehab stakeholders re-energize, set agenda

Friday, May 2, 2014

WASHINGTON – The three-day National CRT Advocacy & Leadership Conference opened on April 29 with a strong call to action.

“We need to recognize we’re in a fight—we’ve got to act like we’re in a fight,” Scott Meuser, chairman and CEO of Pride Mobility, told the 200 mobility stakeholders in attendance. “We’re putting up with it and we’ve got to get angry.”

Meuser called on stakeholders to match their passion for caring for patients with an equally great passion for exposing injustices. He also called on them to build NCART into an even stronger trade organization.

Also addressing attendees: Pete Coburn, president of Sunrise Medical. He said he sees stakeholders doing a better job of organizing their efforts, engaging consumers, and sharing consistent information—something that needs to continue.

“We’ve got to get everyone, once and for all, to sing from the same hymn book,” he said.

Also as part of the conference, providers, consumers, manufacturers and clinicians made 245 appointments to talk with lawmakers about bills in the House of Representatives and Senate to create a separate benefit for complex rehab. The initial reports from those meetings were positive.

“There are a lot of people behind this,” said Don Clayback, executive director of NCART.

Stakeholders are also making inroads on a state level. They expect a separate benefit bill to be signed by the end of May in Colorado and a similar bill is in play in Connecticut.

Other discussion points at the conference included lobbying CMS for administration relief from audits, the shifting focus toward outcomes, and developing accreditation and credentialing specific to complex rehab.

“If we’re more of a self-regulated industry, the government will leave us alone,” said Mike Ballard, president of National Seating & Mobility President.

Repair issues were also front and center.

“Service and repair should be one of the most basic, simple requests our customers have of us, and our customers are underserved,” said Paul Bergantino, CEO of Numotion.