Promise of Senate bill energizes complex rehab efforts

Friday, April 12, 2013

WASHINGTON – Sen. Charles Shumer, D-N.Y., has agreed to introduce a Senate companion bill to create a separate benefit for complex rehab, Don Clayback, executive director of NCART, announced April 10.

The news came just as complex rehab stakeholders were preparing to hit the Hill to promote H.R. 942 as part of the first-ever National CRT Leadership and Advocacy Conference.

“The timing couldn’t have been better,” said Clayback. “Having a bill in both chambers sends the message that there is already broad support for the separate benefit. And we’re in a perfect position—right at the start of the congressional session, with a key senator already behind us.”

Reps. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., introduced H.R. 942 in March. Stakeholders expect Schumer to drop his bill this month.

Having that kind of support made the 220-plus congressional visits conducted during the event by 170 attendees all the more powerful, says Simon Margolis, executive director of NRRTS

“Whenever we mentioned Sensenbrenner, Shumer and Crowley, we got a very positive response,” he said. “This is the first year people have reported no negatives.”

The two other arms of the event—a leadership day and a Medicaid advocacy update—were well received, said Clayback.

“The energy in the room was very compelling,” he said. “We had very good speakers and some great interaction.”

A panel of industry presidents and CEOs kicked off the leadership day, followed by educational sessions on key topics, including surviving audits, getting third party contracts, conducting repairs, and collecting evidence to support complex rehab’s effectiveness.

The Medicaid update brought attendees up to speed on a pilot program that NCART launched in December to gauge the impact of fighting denied claims for complex rehab. Attorneys Lewis Golinker and Garth Corbett, representing NCART, reported that they have reversed nine out of 10 denials so far, and plan to appeal the tenth.