April 2020
Each month "NCART News" delivers the latest Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) Medicare and Medicaid updates, advocacy opportunities, and event information all in one place.
CRT Industry Comes Together
The COVID-19 Pandemic has presented tremendous challenges. But when the going gets tough, the Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) community gets working to ensure individuals with disabilities who depend on this specialized equipment for their independence and health can obtain it.

We have never faced a situation like this before, but we have proven that teamwork, ingenuity, and a collective advocacy voice are the solution. We appreciate the collaborations, the resources shared, and the united front that our industry has built to protect CRT access.

More work lies ahead, but we know what is needed to be successful. Thanks to everyone for what you have done so far and for your involvement as we continue to work together.
Ongoing COVID-19 Activities
We continue to pursue solutions to the CRT challenges presented by COVID-19. We have been communicating with our contacts at CMS and at state Medicaid programs and teaming up with other industry organizations around the urgent actions needed to protect access to CRT.

Here is a summary of some of the CRT work from this month: 
  1.  The CRT COVID-19 CRT Workgroup (consisting of providers, manufacturers, and clinicians) has continued to meet weekly to identify ongoing issues, develop action plans, and secure solutions.
  2. A Remote Technology Advisory Workgroup has been established to document areas of CRT provision appropriate for remote technology and telehealth. A COVID-19 CRT Remote Technology Advisory has been developed which includes guidelines, examples, and billing codes that can be shared with policy makers.
  3. We continued to communicate with CMS on the need to expand Medicare Telehealth to apply to Physical and Occupational Therapists and to add Wheelchair Management CPT code 97542 to the list of codes approved for Telehealth (our efforts were successful, see below for more details).
  4. We continued to communicate with the DME Medicare Administrative Contractors on the urgent need for CRT policy implementation instructions and clarifications.
  5. CRT-specific requests were pursued in states where relief is still needed. Telehealth options for specialty PT/OT evals, ATP involvement, and home assessments continue to be the main focus.
  6.  NCART, NRRTS, US Rehab, and the Clinician Task Force held five weekly CRT Industry COVID-19 Webinars at no cost to provide updated information and resources to the CRT industry. The next webinar is on May 7 at 4:00 PM ET and you can register here.
Assistance for CRT Providers
Along with many other businesses across the country, CRT providers are facing new stressors as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic. These challenges encompass all facets of operating a business, including how to remain financially stable while providing ongoing service to customers and maintaining support for employees.
Various types of financial assistance have been presented to business owners. Two of those are summarized below. For full information, providers can read more here .
CARES Act Relief Fund Payments - These payments have been or will be sent to Medicare providers in whatever form they normally receive payments from Medicare. The amount is approximately 6.2% of the total Medicare Fee For Service payments received in 2019. If you are a provider and have not received this relief payment, you can contact UnitedHealthcare at 877-842-3210 for a status update.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) - Small businesses can apply for forgivable loans through approved lenders to pay their employees and cover certain other business expenses. Most businesses with fewer than 500 employees are eligible to apply and the application can be found here
Provider Poll
Indicate Which of the Following Applies to Your Business:
I have applied for or received PPP or other assistance.
I will be applying for financial assistance.
I will not be applying for any financial assistance.
Wisconsin Passes CRT Legislation
Wisconsin's Senate Bill 605 was signed by Governor Tony Evers on April 17. This bill formally adds power wheelchair standing and seat elevating features to the definition of Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) in the Wisconsin Medicaid program. It also places additional controls around prior authorization requests for CRT by requiring that the Department of Health Services and Medicaid Managed Care Organizations act on prior authorization requests for CRT within ten working days of receiving all relevant information.
Making comment as he signed the bill, Governor Evers said, "This is an important step to ensuring access to this critical standing technology for those with disabilities. These tools can help individuals with disabilities live more comfortable, healthier, and more independent lives, and I am happy to sign this bill into law today.”
Thanks go to many for their hard work in getting this bill passed for individuals relying on CRT in the state of Wisconsin. We look forward to continued progress like this at the state level.
NCART is Protecting Your CRT Business
Operating under the direction of successful industry veterans, NCART has the experience and the proven track record to effectively analyze issues and trends, develop strategies, and lead needed actions to protect CRT businesses and consumers. Maintaining access to CRT is our sole mission.

If your company manufactures or provides CRT, you need to be an NCART member. Your membership will enable us to continue to work aggressively to secure the policies and funding needed to ensure people with significant disabilities and chronic medical conditions can access the specialized equipment and services that they require and that you provide. 

Help make a positive difference in access to CRT by joining NCART. For additional information or to submit your application, click the button below. Questions can be submitted to Mickae Lee at mlee@ncart.us.
Monthly Motivation
"Where There's Help, There's Hope"
The CRT community isn't the only one coming together to help others. Around the globe, families, friends, healthcare systems, essential workers, and small businesses are finding opportunities to positively impact and encourage others. Reaching out to help those in need cultivates human connection even when we are apart and shines hope onto the uncertain path ahead. To all those spreading kindness and care, we say thank you!

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