Rep. Lewis introduces rehab carve-out bill

Sunday, March 26, 2006

WASHINGTON - At NCART's urging, Rep. Ron Lewis, R-Ky., introduced legislation in the House of Representatives on March 16 that would carve out rehab and assistive technology from national competitive bidding (NCB).

The bill, H.R. 4994, defines rehab and assistive technology as follows: medically necessary adaptive seating, positioning and mobility products and speech generation devices. These products are evaluated, fitted, configured, adjusted or programmed to meet specific and unique needs, making them inappropriate for competitive bidding, according to a release from NCART.

"This legislation will be of great benefit for people with disabilities in ensuring that they will continue to have access to the medical equipment they need and the level of service required," said Rita Hostak, president of NCART. "We are excited and gratified that there is recognition of the unique needs that are addressed by rehab and assistive technology and that it deserves special consideration in the national competitive acquisition program."

Lewis sits on the House's powerful Ways and Means Committee.

In other news, NCART rescheduled its congressional fly-in for May 22-23. Members will use the two-day event to collect co-sponsors for H.R. 4994, according to a release from the association.

The fly-in was originally scheduled for Feb. 6-7.