Coronavirus and CRT: NCART seeks policy changes, NSM implements disaster preparedness guidelines

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

WASHINGTON – NCART has submitted a formal request to CMS asking for temporary policy changes related to face-to-face requirements, telehealth opportunities, timely filing and supplier hours of operation.

The recommended changes, at a minimum, would provide some relief from the reduced access to facilities and the increased burdens placed on healthcare providers, the organization says.

“These are challenging weeks ahead as our country navigates this new, but temporary, environment,” said Don Clayback, executive director of NCART. “We will continue our CRT work and will provide updates as more information becomes available.”

NCART’s recommendations include:

  • Face-to-face requirements: Permitting completion of the standard written order as long as the medical record supports the need, or permitting video or telephonic evaluation of the beneficiary to satisfy requirements.
  • In-person specialty evaluation by LCMP: Permitting video evaluations to encourage responsible social distancing.
  • ATP presence/collaboration in specialty evaluation by LCMP: Permitting video participation by an ATP to be sufficient to meet the in-person participation requirement.
  • Home assessment: Permitting verbal/phone interviews of customers/caretakers or video assessment if needed.
  • Prescription required for repairs: Permitting suppliers to perform repairs to wheelchairs for beneficiaries with permanent mobility related disabilities without confirmation of continued need by the physician.
  • Timely completion/filing deadline: Extending completion/filing deadline requirements to allow for additional time.

NSM implements new disaster preparedness guidelines

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility has put in place new guidelines, with input from its Disaster Preparedness Task Force, to mitigate exposure risk and support alternative service delivery options for clients. “We recognized the impact this pandemic would have on our clients and activated a COVID-19 task force in response,” said Bill Mixon, CEO. “Our clients need continuity of care during this unprecedented situation and that includes uninterrupted access to assistive technology providers, mobility equipment and repair services.” In addition to daily compliance with the rigorous infection control policies that are required to meet accreditation standards, NSM has implemented new screening procedures in advance of all personal client interactions; and a restriction on visitors in branches, limiting access only to clients and those who support them. The company is also working with referral sources to offer a variety of alternative appointment options for clients, including the use of telehealth where compliant and appropriate. Additionally, for employees, it has created a COVID-19 resource center, providing information and updates related to the virus, and a hotline for answering questions.