Stakeholders increase outreach for complex rehab bill

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

WASHINGTON – The sponsors of a bill in the Senate to create a separate benefit for complex rehab are circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter to ramp up support.

With little time left in the current legislative session, the bill, S. 948, has only six supporters in the Senate.

“We need to increase our Senate outreach and build on the substantive positives we have,” wrote Don Clayback, executive director of NCART, in a bulletin this week.

Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Thad Cochran, R-Miss., introduced S. 948 in May.

Some of those positives: Schumer and Cochran are two of the most senior senators; both Democrats (four) and Republicans (two) support the bill; and members of the Finance Committee and the Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee are represented among supporters.

“So while we may not have quantity right now, we do have quality,” Clayback wrote.

NCART asks providers to contact their senators and follow up with them about the letter.

“This letter can be a very powerful tool for increasing support, but will only be effective if senators are also hearing from you and other constituents,” Clayback wrote.

A similar bill in the House of Representatives, H.R. 942, has 85 supporters, with a goal of 100.

A list of the supporters for both bills, as well as Schumer and Cochran’s letter, is available at