S.1223, CRT Manual Accessory Bill introduced

Posted on in Government and Advocacy

Earlier this week, Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) introduced Senate bill S. 1223, bipartisan legislation that will permanently exclude manual complex rehabilitative technology (CRT) wheelchairs from the Competitive Bidding Program and will stop Medicare from applying competitive bidding rates to manual CRT wheelchair accessories for 18 months.

This is a Senate companion bill to House bill H.R.2293, “Protecting Access to Complex Rehab Manual Wheelchairs Act,” introduced on April 12 by Reps. John Larson (D-Conn.) and Lee Zeldin (R.-N.Y.)

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In June 2017, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the decision to exempt power wheelchairs but did not include manual chairs. This legislation would fix the current gap in coverage that prevents individuals who use a CRT manual wheelchair from having the same access to accessories as an individual in a CRT power wheelchair. This violates the intent of past congressional legislation and will create significant access problems for Medicare beneficiaries and other individuals with disabilities. By applying the flawed reimbursement structure of the Competitive Bidding Program, these reductions will diminish the accessibility of these products, which maximize patient health outcomes and independence.