Texas, Illinois consider making certification mandatory

Saturday, April 30, 2005

YARMOUTH -- State legislators in Texas and Illinois this Spring are considering rehab provider certification bills that have popped up in their state houses this legislative cycle.
The two states have bills introduced that would require providers there to become RESNA certified or members of NRRTS.
Providers and consumer groups championed Texas's proposed Consumer Protection Act for Wheeled Mobility with guidance from Permobil's director of government affairs, Darren Jernigan, who has helped pass similar legislation in several other states including Tennessee.
"The principal focal point [of the bill] centers on providing practical guidelines around the credentialing of individuals and companies who would be authorized to provide custom power mobility for more medically involved patient populations," said Jack Jacobs, chairman of Austin, Texas-based Adorno/Rogers Technology. "The intent is to protect the populations that need this stuff the most. We are not necessarily gearing this toward preventing someone who has a little trouble moving around from ordering a scooter."
Alabama providers also saw a change in policy. Medicaid officials there recently ruled that providers must hold an ATS to provide power mobility. The rule, however, was quickly rescinded because it did not provide ample time for providers to get certified, according to the Alabama Durable Medical Equipment Association's executive director, Mike Hamilton. Instead, the rule includes NRRTS membership as a qualifying certification "until further notice."
"They will go RESNA-only eventually," said Jernigan. "They'll give time for people to ramp up, but their Medicaid attorney really wants to go with a credential that involves a test.