July 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.
NCART Elects Board Members
Results from a June election of NCART's Board of Directors have been finalized. We thank these industry leaders for adding their commitment and expertise to the mission of protecting access to CRT for people with disabilities. The NCART Board Members as of July 2020 are as follows:
  • Mike Barner- University of Michigan Wheelchair Seating Service; Administrative Director
  • Bruce Bayes- Custom Mobility; President
  • Seth Johnson- Quantum Rehab; Sr. Vice President Government Affairs
  • Debbie Kalk- Reliable Medical Supply; President/CEO
  • Johnny Miller- Miller's; President
  • Doug Munsey- Ki Mobility; President
  • Greg Packer- U.S. Rehab; President
  • Gretchen Schuler- Invacare Corporation; Vice President Insurance Risk Management
  • Rita Stanley- Sunrise Medical; Vice President Government Relations
  • Todd Walling- Permobil; Senior Vice President of Sales
  • Alexis Ward- National Seating and Mobility; Vice President Payer Relations Central Region
  • Doug Westerdahl- Numotion; Regional Vice President
  • Chris Yule- Travis Medical; President
  • Doug Zaer- Superior Mobility; Chief Executive Officer
Increased Payment for CRT Manual Wheelchair Accessories
In December 2019 Congress passed legislation to do two things: (a) provide an exemption from the Medicare Competitive Bidding Program (CBP) for CRT manual wheelchairs and accessories; and (b) provide an 18-month suspension of Medicare applying CBP payment rates to CRT manual wheelchair accessories from January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. As of July 1 the Medicare Fee Schedules reflect these payment updates. Here is what that means for CRT suppliers: 

  • Suppliers can now use the KU modifier when billing CRT manual wheelchair accessories for dates of service through June 30, 2021. 
  • For previous claims submitted with dates of service of January 1 to June 30, suppliers can submit for a retroactive payment adjustment through a streamlined resubmission process using a Reopening Request Form. 
  • Additional CMS details and instructions can be found by clicking the button below.

Thanks to Congress and CMS for their support on this issue, as well as to all the CRT advocates and organizations who worked hard to make this happen.  

This temporary policy change must be made permanent so that individuals who utilize CRT manual wheelchairs have the same access to required components as those who utilize CRT power wheelchairs. Our Government Relations team and other stakeholders are working with Congress and CMS to secure needed action this year.
CRT Awareness Week August 10-14
Each summer we celebrate National CRT Awareness Week which is designed to create a better understanding of Complex Rehab Technology and highlight the many ways it makes a difference in the lives of people with disabilities.

These five days are a time for CRT users, advocacy organizations, providers, manufacturers, clinicians, and others to share their stories and show what CRT is all about. Now’s the time to start planning for August 10-14 to help spread the CRT access message!

For help brainstorming ideas on how you or your organization can get involved, email Mickae Lee by clicking the button below.
Permanent Remote/Telehealth Policies for CRT
The expansion of remote/telehealth services during the Public Health Emergency (PHE) has shown benefits to people with disabilities who use CRT. These expansions have been adopted by Medicare, many Medicaid programs, and commercial payers. Unfortunately many of these policies are currently set to expire at the end of the PHE.

While remote services and telehealth are not suitable for all CRT situations, it is important that action be taken to make these services a permanent option. To achieve this objective a CRT Remote Services Consortium has been formed consisting of clinicians, advocacy groups, providers, manufacturers, and others. The Consortium is focused on two areas: (a) policy and advocacy and (b) practices and protocols. Their work will include developing policy guidelines, best practices, and safeguards that will be used in discussions with legislators and policy makers. 
Medicare Coverage of Power Seat Elevation and Standing
Work continues to secure Medicare coverage of Power Seat Elevation and Power Standing Systems. The formal “Request for Reconsideration of the National Coverage Determination for Mobility Assistive Equipment” is being finalized for submission to CMS. An initial call was held this month with CMS to discuss the planned submission and secure preliminary feedback.

As of this date, 57 national disability, consumer, and medical professional organizations have signed on in support of the submission to secure coverage. This is an important initiative for CRT power wheelchair users and we will continue to provide updates as we move ahead.
Medicare Power Wheelchair Prior Authorizations
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that Medicare Prior Authorization requirements for certain Power Mobility Devices will resume for claims with dates of service of August 3 and after. This resumption includes CRT power wheelchair bases.

CMS has indicated that this program will be reinstated regardless of the status of the Public Health Emergency and an approved prior authorization will once again be required for claims to be considered eligible for payment. Additional information and a list of DMEPOS items that require prior authorization can be found by clicking the button below.
CRT Medicaid Work in July
NCART continues its work on state-level issues that impact access to CRT. If you are currently dealing with a CRT issue within the Medicaid program please send us an email using the button below. Here is a summary of some of our July activity:

  • California - An NCART Work Group continues to discuss selective rescission of 10% cuts; other CRT concerns being looked into by the State.
  • Illinois - An NCART Work Group developed a Standing Device coverage policy that is expected to be published by the Department shortly; work has begun on the development of a CRT Wheelchair coverage policy.
  • Indiana - A call was held with the Department led by the Great Lakes Home Medical Services Association and included AA Homecare, NCART, VGM, and other providers; discussions included the implementation of CURES Act provisions and other DME matters; the State will be publishing a proposal for public comment and a follow up call with the Department is scheduled in August.
  • Michigan - CRT Separate Recognition legislation continues to move forward in the Senate; the Michigan Home Care and Hospice Association, NCART, providers, and clinicians provided supporting testimony at a recent Senate Committee hearing; the bill was unanimously approved by the Senate Committee on Health Policy and Human Services; the next step will be a floor vote and advocacy work will continue.
  • Nevada - An NCART Work Group is communicating with the Governor’s office, state legislators, and the Department to address reimbursement changes impacting CRT.
  • Oklahoma - An NCART Work Group has met to determine next steps regarding proposed fee schedule changes to CRT Power Wheelchair bases; a meeting with the Department is being pursued.
  • Utah - An NCART Work Group continues to communicate with the Department regarding payment methodology for miscellaneous CRT codes and coverage of labor for all CRT components.
CRT Industry Webinars Continue
NCART, NRRTS, U.S. Rehab, and the Clinician Task Force continue to present monthly, no-cost CRT Industry Webinars to provide the latest news and information relating to the provision of Complex Rehab Technology. The most recent webinar was held on July 23.

These presentations cover a wide range of topics including policy changes, billing instructions, legislative updates, best practices, supplier and clinician feedback from the field, CRT advocacy opportunities, and more!

The recordings and handouts from previous webinars can be found at www.ncart.us.

The next CRT Industry Webinar is scheduled for August 20 at 4:00 PM ET. Click below to get registered so you can stay informed on matters impacting CRT access!
CRT Manufacturers and Providers Unite
We're pleased to announce the addition of another new NCART member. Please join us in welcoming Rehab Medical headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. Founded in 2005, Rehab Medical has grown to 18 locations across the country. We thank them for their support and look forward to their increased involvement in NCART's initiatives to secure the future of CRT.

In times like these all CRT providers and manufacturers need to unite around protecting access. If your company is not an NCART member yet, please consider joining this month. The industry needs a strong national association with unified involvement and support to help fight the ongoing negative trends in CRT coverage and payment. Your membership will enable us to continue advocating aggressively on behalf of you and your customers. For more information on becoming an NCART member, click below.
Monthly Motivation
"It Was a Glorious Day - 30 Years of the ADA"
The most people ever gathered on the South Lawn of the White House for a bill signing was on July 26, 1990, the day the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by President George W. Bush. After decades of relentless advocacy, this moment in history marked the beginning of equal opportunity and the recognition of the rights and abilities of individuals with disabilities. Click on the video below to share in the experience and emotion of that shining day as the celebration is recounted by those who were there in person!

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