Web site courts PMD users

Saturday, June 30, 2007

WASHINGTON - Supporters of the rehab carve-out bill have a new weapon in their arsenal: www.complexrehab.org. In late May, NCART revamped the Web site to serve as a one-stop shop for information on the industry's efforts to exempt complex rehab from national competitive bidding.
The Web site features a "Take Action" link to The MED Group's Capitol Connection Web site, allowing users to find their representatives and contact them using form letters. It also features the text of the rehab carve-out bill, H.R. 2231, and customer profiles with photos. Additionally, it features links to supporting organizations like NCART, RESNA and NRRTS.
"It's key to have a central area that everyone can be pointed to, whether it's suppliers, clinicians or, most importantly, consumers," said Don Clayback, who heads up MED's National Rehab Network and serves as NCART's secretary/treasurer. "It's the one place where everything's pulled together."
The industry used a different version of the Web site last year to inform suppliers, consumers and clinicians about CMS's changes to coding, coverage criteria and pricing for power mobility devices. Although she didn't know how many hits the Web site had, Sharon Hildebrandt, NCART's executive director, said, "A lot of our members referred customers and clinicians to it."
NCART developed a one-page flyer to advertise the Web site, which rallies visitors with declarations like "Medicare Denies Mobility Rights!" and "CMS is preparing to move to the lowest bid suppliers for complex rehab."
NRRTS and other groups plan to use the flyer to notify their members of the Web site, with the hope that they'll then turn their customers and clinicians on to it.
"The key to all of this is motivating consumers, because until they come forward, it's going to be obvious that our motivation is staying in business," said Simon Margolis, NRRTS's executive director. "We have to honestly frame this as an access issue."