March 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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Stop July Cuts to CRT Manual Wheelchair Accessories
We continue to work with CMS to get them to take needed policy action before June 30 to permanently protect accessories used with Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) Manual Wheelchairs from Medicare payment cuts. We are in discussions with our Congressional champions regarding reaching out to newly appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra to urge CMS to prioritize “making permanent” the current suspension of applying Competitive Bidding Program payment rates to these critical components. This suspension is set to expire on July 1 and we need CMS to take action before then to protect access. More details will be provided during the CRT Industry Webinar on April 20 at 4:00 PM ET.
Medicare Coverage of Power Seat Elevation and Standing
NCART’s collaboration with the ITEM Coalition continues as consumer, clinician, and industry stakeholders pursue Medicare coverage of Power Seat Elevation and Standing systems. The ITEM workgroup met with Medicare’s Chief Medical Officer this month and provided an overview of the application for coverage and the clinical evidence supporting the medical necessity and benefits of these systems for individuals with disabilities.

CMS should be announcing shortly that the National Coverage Determination (NCD) is opened for formal reconsideration and a 30-day public comment period will follow. ITEM and NCART will be supplying information and guidance to assist organizations in submitting their comments to support the coverage of this important technology. Additional work is also underway relating to the future coding of these systems.
Medicare Sequestration Cuts Suspended
The Senate has passed legislation that would eliminate the 2% across-the-board cut to all Medicare payments, known as sequestration, until the end of 2021. Congress had enacted legislation last year that paused the cuts, but the pause was only until March 31, 2021 without additional Congressional action.

The House of Representatives is expected to take up the Senate-passed bill the week of April 13 when it returns to Washington. In the interim CMS has indicated it will be holding the processing of claims with dates of service on or after April 1 for a short period of time.
PT/OT Telehealth Legislation Introduced
The “Expanded Telehealth Access Act” (H.R. 2168) has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Mikie Sherill (D-NJ) and David McKinley (R-WV). They were joined in this bipartisan introduction by 14 other Members.

H.R. 2168 contains important provisions to expand access to telehealth services and specifically adds Physical and Occupational Therapists as permanently authorized telehealth practitioners within the Medicare program. It is important that these clinicians retain the ability to provide telehealth services after the end of the Public Health Emergency so they can continue to provide services and care to their clients with disabilities who require CRT and may not be able to get to a clinic or be seen in-person for needed evaluations and follow up. The legislation also includes authorizing Speech Language Pathologists as permanent telehealth practitioners.

With the introduction of this new bill, we need you to contact your Members of Congress. We have updated and ask you take a moment today to send the prepared email to your Members asking for their support of this important legislation. Click the button below to learn more and to send your emails.
The American Rescue Plan Act
The recently signed $1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provided federal relief to states, additional paycheck protection program (PPP) dollars for businesses, stimulus payments to individuals, and other miscellaneous provisions to assist with managing negative consequences tied to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

This legislation included $350 Million designated for state relief. These dollars should help minimize the risk of state Medicaid cuts that could negatively impact CRT. However, we will continue to monitor this area for potential risks.

The March CRT Industry Webinar offered additional details for CRT suppliers and others who may benefit from this legislation. Click the button below to listen to the specifics or click here to download the handout from the March 16 presentation. 
State CRT Work in March
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 March work:
  • California - CRT legislation (SB 717) was introduced; this legislation updates regulations regarding the CRT provision process and provides relief from the current across-the-board 10% Medicaid payment reduction.
  • Colorado - NCART submitted public comments and attended the hearing opposing proposed "Right to Repair" state legislation; the bill did not pass out of Committee.
  • Illinois - NCART has scheduled a virtual CRT in-service for HFS leadership on April 15.
  • Maryland - NCART has begun outreach to the Department regarding recent rate changes impacting CRT access.
  • Michigan - CRT legislation that was vetoed in 2020 has been revised and is awaiting reintroduction in the new legislative session.
  • Minnesota - NCART continues collaborations with MAMES on the Governor's proposed budget and grassroots advocacy needed to prevent rate reductions to CRT.
  • New York - NCART is collaborating with NEMEP, AAHomecare, and VGM on MCO rate floor legislation and updated CRT policies; a meeting with the Department is scheduled for March 31.
  • Ohio- NCART is collaborating with OAMES on recently proposed rate methodology changes that would negatively impact CRT access.
  • Utah - an NCART workgroup met to develop needed requests regarding CRT policy and coverage improvements; meetings with the Medical Care Advisory Committee and the Department to be requested.
NCART Welcomes Atlas Enterprise Software
NCART continues to grow with the addition of ATLAS Enterprise Software to our membership roster. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, ATLAS’s mission is to support CRT businesses in streamlining their workflow by aligning separate departments and providing needed data all in one place. We’re thankful for their contributions to the industry and are excited to have the ATLAS team joining and supporting our advocacy efforts.

If your company manufactures or provides Complex Rehab Technology, now is the time to join the national association that is solely focused on protecting access to CRT. To meet the challenges, support is needed from every organization in the CRT industry. If you aren't an NCART member yet please click the button below to learn more about membership.
In Memory of CRT Advocates
On a personal note, it was a very difficult month. We are deeply saddened to be sharing news about the passing of four dedicated CRT advocates in March. David Hartley, Frank Alberding, Walt Gorski, and Susan Houston weren't just advocates that we were blessed to work beside over the years, but friends who shared a love of advocacy and who wanted to make a difference for the industry and the CRT community. Our prayers and deepest condolences are with their loved ones and we will continue to carry out our work with the determined spirit they each embodied.
April CRT Industry Webinar
Does Complex Rehab Technology coverage, payment, policy, advocacy, or legislation play a role in your day-to-day life? If so, don’t miss out on your chance to get the most recent CRT news and updates.

Register for the next CRT Industry Webinar scheduled for April 20 at 4:00 PM ET by clicking the button below. To listen to recordings of previous webinars, visit
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 recent and upcoming events we're proud to be a part of:

Monthly Motivation
"CRT: Essential for Health. Essential for Life."
This video was created several years ago to provide an introduction to Complex Rehab Technology. It shares the perspectives of consumers and clinicians and illustrates examples of what CRT is and the benefits it provides. The video features the late Frank Alberding who, as we mentioned above, passed away this month. He did a great job of communicating his thoughts about the importance of CRT in everyday life. Thank you Frank for your positive energy and contributions to protecting access.

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