Larson’s Bill to Protect Patient Access to Complex Rehabilitation Technologies (CRT) Passes House
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman John Larson (CT-01) released the following statement, after the House of Representatives passed the Improving Medicaid Programs and Opportunities for Eligible Beneficiaries (IMPROVE) Act (H.R. 7217), which included Larson’s bill, H.R. 3730. Larson’s bill would help protect Medicare beneficiaries’ access to specialized, medically-necessary wheelchair accessories by restoring appropriate payment rates to the businesses that supply CRT manual wheelchair accessories. The bill’s Republican co-lead is Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York and it had over 100 bipartisan cosponsors.
“I am thrilled that the IMPROVE Act passed the House today with overwhelming bipartisan support. This legislation will help companies, like Rocky Hill’s, Numotion, provide people suffering from degenerative diseases like ALS or who have become paralyzed with the needed equipment to provide them with the tools to live their lives with maximum mobility and independence. I want to thank Rep. Zeldin for all of his hard work and we look forward to its passage in the Senate,” said Larson.
Background on the CRT Issue:
In 2008, Congress passed the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA), which excluded CRT wheelchairs and accessories from the CMS’ competitive bid process. In November 2014, CMS issued a rule that ignored Congressional intent and would have reduced payments and harmed patient access to CRT wheelchair accessories. This rule was delayed multiple times by Congress through legislation, but only temporarily.
Reps. Larson and Zeldin introduced H.R. 1361 (an earlier iteration of H.R. 3730) to protect CRT wheelchair accessories (power or manual) from having their reimbursement rates reduced. On July 23, 2017, CMS agreed to make the changes the Zeldin/Larson bill called for, but only for CRT power wheelchair accessories.
Therefore, the members introduced H.R. 3730 to protect reimbursement rates and patients’ continued access to CRT manual wheelchair accessories. These efforts have also been supported by the ALS Association, Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Paralyzed Veterans of America, VetsFirst, and the United Spinal Association.