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Stakeholders set agenda for fly-in

Stakeholders set agenda for fly-in

Seth JohnsonWASHINGTON – Complex rehab stakeholders now have “asks” lined up for their upcoming virtual congressional fly-in, including an increase in reimbursement to cover the increased costs of providing equipment and services. 

Increased costs for complex rehab providers are tied to everything from the continued use of PPE and more frequent equipment cleaning due to the COVID-19 pandemic to the supply chain challenges that have resulted in shortages and delays.  

“We seek payment relief to address the cost increases that we’re all seeing, largely tied to the pandemic,” said Seth Johnson, senior vice president of government affairs for Pride Mobility Products and Quantum Rehab. “Legislators and policy makers need to understand that, while other industries can pass this on to consumers, as providers, you really can’t recoup those costs due to the fixed Medicare and Medicaid and third-party payer fee schedules.” 

NCART and NRRTS will host the virtual fly-in Sept. 21. 

Stakeholders will ask lawmakers to establish Medicare coverage for power seat elevation and power standing systems. At press time, stakeholders were waiting for CMS to seek public comments on their request to reconsider the national coverage determination for mobility assistive equipment to include the technology. In July, Reps. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., and Don Young, R-Alaska, sent a letter to Xavier Becerra, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, asking him to take this next step. 

“There are some active follow-up discussions between (Sec. Becerra’s) staff and the congressmen’s staff,” said Don Clayback, executive director of NCART.  

Finally, stakeholders will ask lawmakers to establish physical therapists and occupational therapists as permanent telehealth practitioners. While a number of bills have been introduced to expand the use of telehealth beyond the pandemic, stakeholders are pushing for H.R. 2168, which specifically includes PTs and OTs, and which will ideally have a companion bill in the Senate in time for the fly-in. 

“The expectation is that Congress will be passing some telehealth legislation in the fall of this year or certainly before the end of the year,” Clayback said. “What we need to make sure is, from a CRT perspective, that a provision around PTs and OTs is included.” 


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