Stakeholders seek lawmakers' support

They've made little headway with CMS on their own
Friday, March 20, 2015

WASHINGTON – Members of the House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means committees have drafted a “Dear Colleague” letter asking CMS to change its stance on complex rehab wheelchair accessories.

“The more members of Congress that sign the letter, the more weight it will carry,” said Don Clayback, executive director of NCART.

Stakeholders have made little headway changing CMS’s mind about its decision to apply competitive bid pricing for standard wheelchair accessories to complex rehab wheelchair accessories starting in 2016.

“We met with CMS, we communicated our concerns and then followed up in person, but they feel they’re entitled to make those changes,” said Clayback.

In addition to the letter, NCART has put together a work group made up of providers and manufacturers from across the country to drum up support from consumer groups.

Darren Jernigan, director of government affairs at Permobil, spoke at a gala hosted by the United Spinal Association in March to do just that.

“If you can have members of Congress sign a letter, that’s great, but it means more to have the support of five to 10 consumer groups that represent different populations,” he said. “It’s very important to take a triage approach to get CMS to listen.”