April 2021
Each month "NCART News" delivers the latest Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) Medicare and Medicaid updates, advocacy opportunities, and event information all in one place.
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CRT Manual Wheelchair Accessory Cuts
Our top priority remains to stop the potential July 1 Medicare cuts to CRT Manual Wheelchair Accessories. The NCART Government Relations Committee has been working on several fronts to secure the needed policy change decision from CMS. Unfortunately a resolution has been complicated by delays in the appointment of HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra (who now is in place) and the anxiously anticipated confirmation of CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, which is expected shortly.

The position paper detailing the need for CMS policy action has been updated and posted to the NCART federal issues page here. We remain engaged with our Congressional champions and disability advocacy group partners to emphasize to CMS the urgent need for action as soon as possible.
Medicare Coverage of Power Seat Elevation and Standing
We are eagerly awaiting the CMS announcement requesting comments on the reopening of the National Coverage Determination (NCD) to potentially extend Medicare coverage to include Power Seat Elevation and Standing systems. This comment period is the next step in securing Medicare coverage of this important technology. We continue to work with the ITEM Coalition and will be supplying resources and tools to allow organizations and individuals to submit supporting comments to CMS once the comment period begins.
PT/OT Telehealth Legislation
As we all know, it is critical that Physical and Occupational Therapists retain the option to provide telehealth services to clients who require Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) after the Public Health Emergency (PHE). While there are significant telehealth policy conversations taking place in Congress, it is important that the inclusion of PTs and OTs is not overlooked.

As reported last month, the “Expanded Telehealth Access Act” (H.R. 2168) was introduced in the House by Representatives Mikie Sherill (D-NJ) and David McKinley (R-WV). The bill contains provisions to expand access to telehealth services and, most importantly, specifically adds Physical and Occupational Therapists as permanently authorized telehealth practitioners.

A much broader telehealth bill has also just been introduced in Congress, the "CONNECT for Health Act of 2021" led by Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Roger Wicker (R-MS). This is based on similar legislation from last year and has broad bipartisan support and has been endorsed by a significant number of national associations. However, this bill does not specify the inclusion of PTs and OTs.

Making sure PTs and OTs are included in whatever final telehealth legislation that Congress passes will require national advocacy. We ask that you take five minutes today to send an email to your Members of Congress asking for their support of the language in H.R. 2168. Click the button below to visit www.protectmymobility.org to send your email and for more information. 
Public Health Emergency Extended
The federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency that was initially declared in 2020 has now been extended to July 20, 2021. Continuation of the PHE determines how long many of the “temporary” polices, such as Medicare telehealth flexibilities, will remain in place.

Extensions are generally issued in 90-day increments and the expectation is that the PHE will stay in place through at least the end of 2021. HHS has indicated it will give a 60-day notice prior to the end of the PHE to allow agencies, organizations, and others to take the necessary steps to transition back to historical policies and procedures.
May 25 CRT Industry Webinar
The next CRT industry webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, May 25 at 4:00 PM ET. This is another in our series of no-cost webinars that offer timely updates on important issues that impact CRT access and provide details on how to become more involved in advocacy. Click the button below to register today! 

To listen to recordings of previous webinars or to download the handouts, visit www.ncart.us.
Illinois Medicaid Virtual CRT In-Service
An NCART workgroup of Illinois CRT suppliers, clinicians, and consumers had the privilege of holding a virtual CRT in-service for the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services this month. The group presented examples of CRT products that included: custom molded seating; power seat elevation, tilt, recline systems; and independent standing systems. ATPs and clinicians were given an opportunity to explain the clinical benefits of the adaptive equipment, outline the medical necessity of each item, and answer questions from the Department’s clinical review team. The information was well-received and we look forward to additional opportunities to share the details and value of CRT with the Department and others in the months ahead. 
State CRT Work in April
NCART continues its work on state-level issues that impact access to CRT. If you are currently dealing with a CRT issue that we can help with, please send us an email using the button below. Here are the highlights from our April work:
  • California - CRT legislation (SB-717) is making its way through the Senate; this legislation updates regulations regarding the CRT provision process and provides relief from the current across-the-board 10% Medicaid payment reduction.
  • Idaho - NCART is communicating with CRT suppliers in the state to address policy and payment concerns for CRT wheelchairs.
  • Iowa - An NCART workgroup has met and is working with the state to present needed improvements to policies impacting CRT.
  • Minnesota - NCART continues collaboration with MAMES to prevent proposed rate reductions to CRT.
  • Ohio - NCART is working with OAMES on developing resources to present to the state regarding recently proposed rate methodology changes that would negatively impact CRT access.
  • Oklahoma - NCART is working with OMEPA, VGM, and AA Homecare to develop materials and coordinate grassroots outreach to legislators to stop the implementation of Medicaid Managed Care in the state.
  • Utah - An NCART workgroup is preparing a CRT presentation on needed policy improvements which will be given to the Utah Medical Care Advisory Committee in June.
NCART Welcomes Binson's Medical Supply
NCART is proud to announce the newest CRT supplier to join our group of dedicated CRT industry leaders. Binson’s Medical Supply, headquartered in Michigan, has been devoted to providing quality products and services since they were founded in 1953. We’re very grateful for their support and are pleased to have the Binson team on board to help protect access to CRT. 

Does your company supply or manufacture CRT? If so, please click the button below to learn more about how to become a member of NCART. Your financial support will allow us to continue our critical advocacy work to protect access to CRT. Consider joining other industry leaders and become an NCART member today!
Thank You Occupational Therapists
April is Occupational Therapy Month and we are celebrating each of the outstanding OTs who work with individuals that use Complex Rehab Technology. These medical professionals are a critical part of the CRT team who not only provide their expertise during the evaluation process, but also help individuals with disabilities maximize their independence in day-to-day activities. Thank you Occupational Therapists for all you do!
New NCART Websites Unveiled
We are excited to announce that the NCART and Access2CRT websites have undergone complete renovations in 2021.

The NCART site remains a CRT industry resource center with the latest news, tools for providers and manufacturers, and information on important policy and legislative action impacting CRT. The Access2CRT site is an advocacy "hub" that offers legislator look-up, tools to share the CRT story, the Protect My Mobility advocacy action center, and other helpful links for all individuals who want to get more involved in CRT advocacy.

Take a moment to see how we've improved these sites by clicking the buttons below!
CRT Event Calendar
NCART welcomes opportunities to support the CRT community by participating in events that promote education and advocacy. Here are some of the upcoming events that we're proud to help publicize:

Monthly Motivation
Congratulations "Crip Camp"
We were very happy to see the disability rights and inclusivity movements receive some great attention at the recent Academy Awards ceremony. It came in the form of the Netflix-produced film “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution” which had been nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. While it didn't take home an award that evening, it has been widely hailed as a big win for the disability community.

The documentary centers around the story of Camp Jened, a New York State summer retreat in the Catskill Mountains where many young people with disabilities “first experienced the joys of community” in the 1960s and 70s. It highlights the early work in the disability rights movement and tells how many of its leaders came together through their camp experiences to begin their society-changing advocacy work.

Getting Academy Awards exposure is a positive thing, but getting your family, friends, and associates to view this Oscar-nominated film is even better. It can be viewed on Netflix or here on the Netflix YouTube channel. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

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