Senators introduce CRT bill

Thursday, May 16, 2013

WASHINGTON – Industry stakeholders now have bills in both the House of Representatives and the Senate to create a separate benefit for complex rehab technology (CRT).

Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Thad Cochran, R-Miss., introduced S. 948, the “Ensuring Access To Quality Complex Rehabilitation Technology Act of 2013,” on May 15. 

“We are very honored and grateful to have these two well-respected senators introduce our CRT legislation,” stated Don Clayback, NCART executive director. “Now that we have a bill introduced in both the House and Senate, we have more opportunities to create greater awareness of CRT issues and to secure additional co-sponsors and passage.”

Reps. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., introduced H.R. 942 on March 6. The bill currently has 40 co-sponsors.

Both the House and Senate bills contain the same language. They would carve out complex rehab from the DME benefit, put standards in place to ensure qualified professionals provide the equipment and permanently exempt it from competitive bidding. The bills would also remove a restriction that allows Medicare coverage for complex rehab only for use "in the home."

Clayback had announced Schumer’s commitment to the bill at the National CRT Leadership and Advocacy Conference in April. To achieve bipartisan support, stakeholders asked Schumer to wait to drop the bill until talks with a Republican co-sponsor were complete.

Next steps include finding co-sponsors for the bill, getting a score from the CBO and attaching it to a larger piece of legislation before the current session of Congress ends.