Tennessee delays rehab credential vote

Sunday, April 6, 2003

April 7, 2003

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Tennessee House subcommittee put off plans to vote on an initiative to require rehab credentialing last week after stakeholders in the proposal disagreed on language in the legislation.

The "Consumer Protection Act for Wheeled Mobility,” drafted by Permobil, was to require that any company providing prescribed wheeled mobility devices (except for K0001, K0002, K0003, and K0006 chair) should have on staff a member of NRRTS or an ATS or ATP as certified by RESNA.

But Hoveround, a supplier and manufacturer of power wheelchairs, objected to the NRRTS requirement. NRRTS has declined to extend membership to Hoveround since the company typically supplies its own wheelchairs to end-users. One NRRTS criteria for membership requires members to offer end-users a variety of choices.

If passed into law, Tennessee would be the first state in the country to legally mandate elevated credentials for rehab providers. Although Georgia now requires its rehab providers to be members of NRRTS, that regulation was imposed by the state’s Medicaid program.

To move the legislation forward, Permobil has agreed to cut the NRRTS membership requirement. The subcommittee is expected to approve the bill for passage soon.