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Congressman John Larson

Representing the 1st District of Connecticut

Larson Visits Numotion and Highlights Bipartisan Bill to Protect Patient Access to Complex Rehabilitation Technologies (CRT)

August 15, 2018
Press Release

Rocky Hill, CT – Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) visted Numotion, a wheelchair and mobility equipment company in Rocky Hill. They were joined by other representatives in the industry, including Don Clayback, Exective Director of the National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology (NCART), to discuss Larson’s bipartisan bill, H.R. 3730. This bill would help protect Medicare beneficiaries’ access to specialized, medically-necessary wheelchair accessories by restoring appropriate payment rates to the businesses that supply CRT wheelchair accessories. The bill’s Republican sponsor is Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York and it has over 100 bipartisan cosponsors.

“Complex Rehabilitation Technologies (CRT) help people living with severe disabilities go through their daily lives with maximum mobility and independence. That is why I met with some of the businesses here in Connecticut that build and customize these advanced wheelchairs for people suffering from degenerative diseases like ALS or who have become paralyzed. I heard firsthand today how these Medicare cuts are affecting these often small businesses and how it could impact their ability to serve Medicare beneficiaries. I am proud of the bipartisan support this measure has received, and Rep. Zeldin and I will work to get H.R. 3730 passed into law to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries will continue to have access to the CRT manual wheelchair accessories that they need,” said Larson.

“We sincerely thank Congressman Larson for being a strong champion for people with disabilities in his district and across the country. He has taken a leadership role in introducing legislation like H.R. 3730 to ensure these children and adults are able to get the complex wheelchairs and other adaptive equipment they require to maximize their independence and minimize their health care treatments and costs.  His support is critical to companies in his district like Numotion and National Seating & Mobility, helping them to continue to provide this specialized equipment and supporting services to their communities,” said Don Clayback Executive Director of NCART.

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.

 

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