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Protect My Mobility

Being an advocate for Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) can be as simple as sending an email to your Legislators making them aware of the challenges to appropriate access for people with disabilities and asking them for their support.  The more voices delivering our CRT message the better!

Without your help, Congress will not fully understand how CRT maximizes independence and protects the health of the individuals who depend on it. Review the current CRT issues below and use the links provided to contact your Members of Congress today to protect access!

Issue 1: Sign-On Letter to CMS for Medicare Coverage of Power Seat Elevation and Standing Systems

Medicare currently DOES NOT cover power seat elevation and power standing systems used with CRT power wheelchairs. Clinical evidence shows these CRT systems provide significant medical benefits to people with disabilities and enable them to be much more independent in their homes and communities. 

In September 2020, the ITEM Coalition (a coalition of patients, providers, researchers, and other subject matter experts including NCART) submitted a formal Request for Reconsideration of the existing National Coverage Determination (NCD) for Mobility Assistive Equipment to advance a coverage policy for these systems under the Medicare DME benefit. In August, nearly two years after the initial request was submitted, CMS opened the public comment period for power seat elevation systems, but unexpectedly and without explanation did not open the related review of power standing systems.

To advance this important issue for individuals with disabilities, Reps. Jim Langevin (D-RI),  Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), and John Rose (R-TN) and Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Bob Casey (D-PA) and their colleagues are sending a letter to CMS Administrator Brooks La-Sure. The letters thank CMS for opening a National Coverage Analysis and public comment period for power seat elevation systems, ask CMS to advance Medicare coverage for power seat elevation systems, and urge CMS to promptly move forward with the process for power standing systems.

The Senate letter was finalized on September 30 and the House letter was finalized on October 6. The final versions and other resources are linked below. This Congressional communication will be a big help in getting CMS to move forward with establishing the Medicare coverage for power seat elevation and power standing systems needed by people with mobility impairments. Thanks to ALL CRT advocates for taking action! 

Additional Resources: 

Issue 2: Ask Congress to Preserve CRT Telehealth Option

Medicare beneficiaries with disabilities are currently able to access critical, medically necessary care via telehealth due to COVID-19 pandemic flexibilities put in place by Congress and CMS.  The people benefiting from these services include those with diagnoses such as ALS, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and traumatic brain injury.  Unfortunately when the Public Health Emergency (PHE) ends, the ability for Medicare beneficiaries to access needed Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) services via telehealth will also end unless Congress acts

Options that allow CRT telehealth services must be made permanent so individuals with disabilities have continued remote access to CRT evaluations, fittings, and training when an in-person visit is not possible. Circumstances that would prevent an in-person visit could include medical risks and other factors described in a position paper that you can read here. Rather than allowing these options to expire and create access barriers, Congress must take legislative action to extend or make these CRT telehealth policies permanent so they continue beyond the expiration of the PHE.

The CRT community must take action to preserve access to CRT. Please click the button below to send a pre-written email to your Members of Congress sharing the need for ongoing telehealth options and asking for needed legislative support. 

Issue 3: Ask Congress to Support Home Modification Bill (HR 7676)

Representatives Charlie Crist (D-FL) and Tom Suozzi (D-NY) have introduced H.R. 7676, the “Home Modification for Accessibility Act of 2022”, to provide tax incentives to homeowners to proactively update their houses for aging in place. This bill amends current Internal Revenue Code to promote the use of modifications to a person’s primary residence that improve the accessibility, security, or safety of the home. Being able to safely stay at home is a right all Americans should have.

The passage of this bill will support that right and bring much needed assistance and benefits to senior citizens and people with disabilities. It will not only improve a person’s quality of life and independence, it will also help reduce healthcare costs through decreasing home injuries, hospitalizations, and caregiver needs.

Please click the button below to send a pre-written email to your Members of Congress asking for needed legislative support.