January 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.
Saying Thank You to Congress

Our community of CRT advocates is thankful for the 2019 year-end Congressional victory of getting legislation passed that included protections for Complex Rehab Manual Wheelchairs and their components (a/k/a accessories). What we accomplished was no small task and was the result of years of consistent and unified outreach.

However, it couldn't have been done without the support of our Congressional champions and we'd like to thank them for their leadership and persistence in helping get our CRT legislation across the finish line.

NCART has sent letters of thanks to the Members who played a key part in this success. To help you do the same for your Members we've set up links at www.protectmymobility.org so you can send your own virtual Thank You Card. As always, you can use the prepared message or personalize it.

It's important that Congress knows how thankful we are that they took needed action to protect access to CRT for individuals with disabilities. Help extend that important message today!
CMS Publishes Initial Implementation Instructions

CMS has released initial instructions on implementation of the Complex Rehab Manual Wheelchair accessories legislation (H.R. 1865) that passed in December. This provides an 18-month suspension in Medicare's application of Competitive Bidding Program payment rates to these items. We have provided a summary of the highlights below and the full announcement can be read   here .   

T hese are the highlights:

  • CMS specifically identifies "CRT manual wheelchairs" as codes E1161 and K0005, and also includes the other manual wheelchair codes (defined as as HCPCS codes E1235, E1236, E1237, E1238, and K0008) in the legislation.
  • The new rates are effective January 1, 2020 but "it is unlikely that changes to the Medicare claims processing system can be implemented sooner than July 1, 2020 and possibly later".
  • For now, providers should continue to bill accessories as they have been doing and claims will be paid at the Competitive Bid adjusted rates.
  • Once the claims processing systems are updated "payment at the full fee schedule amounts for claims submitted for these items with dates of service on or after January 1, 2020 will be available retroactively". 
  • CMS indicated additional information, including a list of HCPCS codes for accessories affected, as well as further instructions regarding the submission and processing of claims will be provided in coming months.

We've been in contact with CMS and a joint work group of CRT stakeholders will be developing questions and suggestions. Our comments will include finalizing the system change as soon as possible, adding pediatric size tilt-in-space wheelchair codes, and streamlining the process of securing retroactive payments. We'll be sharing more updates as we receive additional details.
You are Needed at the 2020 Access2CRT Summit
Everyone in the CRT community has a reason to be at the 2020 Access2CRT Summit on March 30-31. Check out the video below to listen to Jenny’s personal invitation. She’s been speaking to Congress for over ten years and continues to reach out. Join her and other passionate CRT advocates on Capitol Hill to protect access to this life-changing and unique equipment. Get registered today at www.crtsummit.com!

Want to share YOUR reason for being at the Access2CRT Summit? Send your video to mlee@ncart.us today.
2020 National CRT Medicaid Survey

We all know Medicaid coverage and payment policies play a critical role in adequate access to CRT. With that in mind, we are conducting a 2020 Medicaid CRT Survey to gather important information regarding CRT policies on a state-by-state basis. This is being done as a joint effort from NCART, AA Homecare, and U.S. Rehab.
 
The data collected will enable us to examine the status and trends within state Medicaid programs and identify where advocacy action is needed. We have kept the survey as condensed as possible and appreciate you taking the time to answer each question so that we can obtain an accurate analysis. If your company operates in more than one state, please complete a separate survey for each.
 
You can find the survey here along with related instructions and we are asking for submissions by Friday, February 7 . Should you have any questions, please contact Mickae Lee at mlee@ncart.us
Medicaid Work in January

NCART continues its work on state-level issues that impact access to CRT. If you are currently dealing with a CRT issue related to the Medicaid program in your state please send us an email using the button below. A summary of some of our January activity is below:

California - Held meetings with California work group on current CRT access issues and plans for the upcoming State budget process.
Connecticut - An NCART work group has had meetings with the Department and is collecting information on recent rate changes to certain CRT codes; discussions with the Department will continue.
Indiana - NCART continues to work with the Great Lakes Association, AA Homecare, and VGM regarding implementation of a new fee schedule; various calls have been held and discussions continue.
Oklahoma - An NCART work group is developing documentation regarding program changes for certain CRT codes and a follow up meeting with the Department is scheduled.
Utah - An NCART work group is addressing recent policy and rate changes with the Department; discussions are ongoing.
Washington - A change in coverage certain CRT items has been announced; NCART is working with PAMES, AA Homecare and VGM and additional information has been requested from the Department.
NCART Membership
NCART is looking to welcome additional members to help support the 2020 advocacy work that lies ahead. Our mission is solely dedicated to ensuring access to CRT. Operating under the direction of successful industry veterans, NCART has the experience required to effectively analyze issues and trends, develop strategies and collaborations, and implement action plans to protect the interest of CRT businesses and consumers. 

The support that comes from membership provides updated tools and resources, increased advocacy activity, ongoing collaboration with clinician and consumer organizations, and targeted outreach on the state and federal level. 

Please contact Mickae Lee at mlee@ncart.us with any questions or click the button below to submit your membership application today!
CRT Events Calendar

NCART invests time across the country to ensure that the CRT message stays strong and our advocate network continues to expand. Check out our calendar to see the CRT related events that are scheduled for this year.
Monthly Motivation
Steve Gleason - No White Flags
This month, NFL legend Steve Gleason was honored with the 164th Congressional Gold Medal. Speaker Nancy Pelosi heralded him as a "leader of outstanding courage and unmatched resolve, who has inspired a nation". Steve is a well-known powerhouse advocate who seeks to provide hope and purpose for individuals living with ALS. Another example of consistent advocacy work over time, we celebrate with Steve and his family and offer our hearty congratulations for the honor he's received.

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