The Protect My Independence campaign has ended. Now what?

Posted on in HME Government Issues

U.S. Rehab, VGM Forbin, VGM Government Relations, People for Quality Care and industry partners wrapped up the Protect My Independence campaign on October 25, 2015. The petition, urging CMS to rescind their decision to implement inappropriate reimbursement rates for complex rehab accessories, received 28,519 signatures.

 “The Protect My Independence campaign was a success,” commented Tom Powers, director of VGM Government Affairs. “We gained a large amount of data in every state and congressional district. We will use these signatures as ammunition to show senators and representatives how many people per congressional district and state support this issue.”

Momentum continues to build for CRT reform. Bills HR-3229 and S-2196 were introduced in Congress shortly after the petition. The bills provide a technical correction to clarify that CMS cannot apply Medicare competitive bidding rates to complex rehab accessories.

Stay with us in the fight to protect access to CRT

If competitive bidding pricing is applied to complex rehab accessories effective January 1, 2016, reimbursement rates would be reduced on wheelchair accessory codes by 20-40 percent. This is applicable to 171 HCPCS codes, like cushions, backs, power recline and tilt and specialty drive controls.

This is why we need your help putting the pressure on the house and senate to gain support of H.R. 3229 and S. 2196. Without this technical correction, competitive bid rates will be applied come January 1, 2016.

  • Step 1: Email your legislators to ask them to sign onto HR 3229 or S 2196. Go here
  • Step 2: Make a quick phone call to your legislators. NCART has an online guide available to step you through who to contact, what phone number to call, who to ask for and what talking points you can use.

Please do not lose sight of what could happen if competitive bidding is implemented. Providers will inevitably pay more for accessories than the reimbursement rate and lose money every time a complex rehab headrest is provided for a patient. Medicare cannot expect providers to agree to lose money per transaction; therefore, this accessory will no longer be available to patients who need it, including those with multiple sclerosis, ALS, or muscular dystrophy.

What have you done to prepare your business and your patients?


Watch your inbox for a series of information on potential cuts, how you can prepare your business, and how you can evolve your business if these cuts are put into place. As an added benefit, we will also have information for you to give to your clients on these cuts and what they can do to make their voices heard.

Dan Fedor, Reimbursement Specialist with VGM and U.S. Rehab will be hosting a webinar on December 4 at 10 a.m. CST on how to prepare for the upcoming CRT accessory cuts. Learn more about the affected accessory codes, what you can do as a provider to offset losses, and how to explain increased out-of-pocket expenses to patients. Register here.

If you have any questions, U.S. Rehab and VGM are here to help! Call us at 800-987-7342 or email us at [email protected].