Rehab Accessories Make Cut In House of Representatives
December, once again, turned out to be a lucky month for complex rehab stakeholders. The House of Representatives on Dec. 11 passed a bill that included language that requires CMS to stop applying competitive bidding pricing to accessories for complex rehab manual wheelchairs for 18 months, from Jan. 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020.
“We’re pleased with the 18 months,” said Seth Johnson, senior vice president of government affairs for Pride Mobility Products.
“We’re pleased with the 18 months,” said Seth Johnson, senior vice president of government affairs for Pride Mobility Products. “It provides necessary relief for these manual wheelchair accessories. It would be nice to have permanent relief, however, and we’ll be working with the administration to get the same regulatory relief for manual wheelchair accessories as power wheelchair accessories.” H.R. 7217, which focuses on improvements to the Medicaid program, was introduced Dec. 6. at press time, the bill was set for a vote in the Senate.
The bill also provides a permanent exemption from the competitive bidding program for complex rehab manual wheelchair bases. CMS hasn’t included these bases in the program or applied pricing from the program to them, but this would make that official.
“It’s not prohibited by legislation, so this really closes the loop and prevents any misunderstanding,” said Don Clayback, executive director of NCART. “This is particularly important now, with CMS making modifications to the bid program.”
This latest development comes after years of hard work that began to pay off in December of 2015, when industry champions were able to stave off bid pricing for accessories for complex rehab power wheelchairs for a year. They were able to do that again in December 2016 for another six months.
CMS then decided not to apply the pricing for accessories for complex power wheelchairs starting July 1, 2017. Bid pricing for complex rehab manual wheelchairs, however, has been in place since Jan. 1, 2016.
SOURCE: HMENEWS.COM (Jan 2019 by BY LIZ BEAULIEU, Editor)