December 2020
Each month "NCART News" delivers the latest Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) Medicare and Medicaid updates, advocacy opportunities, and event information all in one place.
A Holiday Message
This past year had no shortage of challenges. In one way or another we each battled through hardships, whether in our professional or our personal lives. The NCART Board and staff remain grateful for the work of the CRT industry and all the members of the CRT community. Each of you played an important role in ensuring access to quality CRT equipment and services used by individuals with disabilities.

Thanks to everyone for your dedication and for all that has been accomplished in 2020. We are looking forward to 2021 with great hope and are ready to join with you to take on the year ahead. Wishing you all a very happy, healthy, and blessed New Year! 
Looking Ahead to 2021
During 2020, NCART’s energy and resources were focused on a wide variety of areas. These included securing and communicating needed COVID-19 solutions (business/staff/customer safety, federal financial assistance, remote and telehealth options, documentation relief, etc.) along with pursuing solutions to multiple CRT coverage and payment issues at the federal and state levels. It has been a very busy year. We thank all our NCART Members, our industry partners, and our other advocacy partners for the contributions made in these efforts.

The latest CRT Industry Webinar (December 15) included a recap of our current activities and a preview of what’s ahead for 2021. You can view the recording or download the handout of that presentation here ( This may be helpful to share with your management teams.

As we move into next year, NCART is fully committed to continuing to lead CRT advocacy. Our 2021 work will include stopping July 1 payment cuts to CRT manual wheelchair accessories, securing Medicare coverage for power seat elevation and standing systems, preventing potential Medicaid payment cuts to CRT, and other legislative and regulatory initiatives to improve CRT coverage and payment. 
Year-End Federal Budget and COVID-19 Bill
Congress has passed and the President has signed a 5,600-page bill that funds the government through September 30, 2021 and provides additional COVID-19 relief. The legislation includes a wide variety of provisions. Two provisions that will directly impact CRT suppliers and manufacturers are an extension of the Medicare Sequester COVID-19 Moratorium to delay the 2% sequester cuts for an additional three month until March 31, 2021 and $284 Billion in additional Paycheck Protection Program loans that some businesses may be eligible for. We will be providing further details and analysis in the days ahead.
CRT Manual Wheelchair Accessories
We had a productive meeting with CMS in December to review the status of our request for CMS to “make permanent” the current suspension of using Competitive Bidding Program payment rates to accessories used with CRT manual wheelchairs. The current suspension expires on June 30, 2021 and CMS action is needed before then to prevent payment cuts. We discussed the 41-signature bipartisan House of Representatives letter requesting a permanent policy change and discussed CMS options. We are sharing follow up information and will be continuing the dialogue with the CMS team as we move into 2021.
Coverage of Power Seat Elevation and Standing
The ITEM Coalition led initiative to secure Medicare coverage for power seat elevation and power standing systems continues to make progress. A conference call was held with a broad CMS team to review the coverage application request, the supporting documents, and the related financial report. This was a great opportunity to provide the initial overview and begin the detailed discussions that lie ahead as we work with CMS to answer their questions and emphasize the need and basis for the coverage of these important technologies.
Telehealth Update
The CRT Remote Services Consortium continues its work in this area. A final draft of the “Remote and Telehealth CRT Guidelines” and an updated decision tree is under review. It is expected these tools will be available for use by the end of January. On the legislative front, Congress will be introducing updated telehealth bills in the new session and has asked for public input. We will be submitting comments stressing the need for Congress to give CMS the ability to permanently designate physical and occupational therapists as authorized telehealth practitioners and include the therapy codes that relate to the evaluation and provision of CRT.
COVID-19 Vaccine Availability
It is great news that the initial phases of COVID-19 vaccinations have begun. In advance of this, NCART sent written requests to federal and state agencies requesting that employees of DME/CRT suppliers be included in Phase 1-a distributions. We recognize that staff members are on the front lines of the COVID‐19 pandemic providing critical equipment and services to patients (both children and adults) in homecare and facility settings and are therefore at higher risk of exposure/transmissions. 

NCART has contacted the Health Department leadership in every state to request that supplier personnel be eligible to access the vaccine in the first round of distributions. We have also supplied our members with needed state contact information and have encouraged them to send in their own requests using a letter template we have created. For more information and answers regarding vaccine distributions in your state, contact Mickae Lee at NCART by clicking the button below.
Michigan CRT Bill Heads to Governor
We are happy to report that the Michigan state CRT recognition bill SB-855 was passed and is on its way to the Governor for signature. In this year’s legislative environment, this process was not without some twists and turns as the bill worked its way through the state Senate and House. Many thanks to Barry Cargill, President of the Michigan Homecare & Hospice Association; NCART Board member Mike Barner, University of Michigan Wheelchair Seating Service; and Kort St. John, Rehab Director, CareLinc Medical for all their work. NCART was part of this true team effort and we look forward to getting the legislation signed. To read the text of the bill, click the button below. 
January CRT Industry Webinar
We are kicking off the New Year by continuing to offer no-cost updates to the CRT Industry. Hosted by NCART, NRRTS, U.S. Rehab, and the Clinician Task Force, this January 14 presentation will provide information and resources needed by CRT suppliers, manufacturers, clinicians, and advocates to ensure 2021 has a strong start. Get registered today by clicking the button below.
Why Join NCART?
NCART membership is a critical investment for any CRT provider or manufacturer to make. We serve as a guardian for your business, focused solely on the CRT industry with the mission of protecting YOUR business and the ability to serve YOUR customers.

NCART brings a proven record of leading successful national and state CRT advocacy campaigns protecting CRT coverage and funding, a committed CRT experienced staff, a dedicated CRT focused Board of Directors, and coordinated CRT Workgroups of providers, manufacturers, clinicians, and consumers.

NCART offers a broad variety of educational and advocacy tools that can be tailored to the issues at hand and have established working relationships with national and state consumer, disability, and clinician groups. 

If your company manufactures or provides CRT and is not yet an NCART member, now is the time to get involved to protect access to CRT in the year ahead. Click the button below for more details.
Promotion of Mickae Lee
NCART is pleased to announce the promotion of Mickae Lee to Associate Director as of January 1, 2021. Mickae began her engagement with us in 2009, volunteering with the National CRT Leadership and Advocacy Conference. In 2012, she was hired part-time and then became a full-time employee in July 2013. She has served for the past five years as Director of Advocacy and Communication. Her responsibilities have included a wide variety of projects and her knowledge and experience in the CRT industry have supported multiple initiatives generating positive outcomes to protect access for individuals with disabilities. We are thankful for all her work and look forward to her continued leadership and contributions in her new position.
Monthly Motivation
"You've Got a Friend in Me"
Where would we be without our advocacy partners and friends? QEF's Diversity Choir delivers an important reminder in the video below. As we reflect on the days behind us and anticipate the year ahead of us, we know that our most important work will be done together in supporting the needs of the CRT community. Happy New Year!

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