Complex Rehab Technology — Doesn’t Have to Be That Complex!
When it comes to paying for wheelchairs and other equipment the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) uses a program called ‘competitive bidding’. Over the years, we’ve worked with the disability community to ensure that the competitive bidding process does not restrict reimbursement of the equipment necessary to live daily life with a disability.
Most recently, and of immediate concern, is that now CMS wants to include all the parts of a wheelchair beyond the base frame as an accessory and apply the competitive bid pricing to those items. If this goes through it will drastically limit the payment for and access to tools and technologies that those who use, benefit and depend upon wheelchairs to live a quality of life with a disability depend on.
AND it’s set to take effect January 1, 2016.
So, What Can YOU Do?
First: Sign on to an online petition that is opposing these cuts. Sign on here!
Second: Congressman Zeldin of New York introduced legislation (H.R.3229)that seeks to reverse the CMS decision to restrict payment for complex wheelchair – as they call them – “accessories”. The “accessories” category includes the customizable and individually configured components that are so crucial to a functioning chair. This bill provides the technical correction to clarify that CMS cannot apply Medicare competitive bidding prices to accessories used with complex rehab wheelchairs.
Right now the bill has 18 cosponsors. If we want to show that reimbursement of wheelchairs is important and that these components are NOT simple accessories but are critical components we need more Members to sign on.
Call your Member of Congress and tell them to support H.R.3229 and to SUPPORT Independence and Access for the disability community.
Call the House Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and Ask for YOUR Member of Congress
Here are talking points to guide your call!
- Hi, as a constituent and someone impacted by a disability I know how important reimbursement for wheelchairs is in daily life. (Feel free to share your story)
- I’m concerned that the language included by CMS to apply competitive bidding prices to all parts of a wheelchair beyond the frame will severely limit the ability to access a technology that is necessary for millions in their daily lives.
- Congressman Zeldin has introduced legislation that reverses the CMS decision to restrict payment for complex wheelchair accessories.
- Please sign on to HR. 3229. You can reach the Congressman’s Health Staff at: Matthew.Scott@mail.house.gov or at (202) 225 – 3826
- On behalf of myself and all those who would be impacted by this restriction THANK YOU.
For any questions or comments, please feel free to contact Jenny McCue, UCP’s Director of Advocacy, at firstname.lastname@example.org.