Unless Congress Takes Action, Access to Critical Wheelchair Components and Accessories Is About to Get Worse

Unless Congress Takes Action, Access to Critical Wheelchair Components and Accessories Is About to Get Worse

HELP STOP MEDICARE CUTS TO COMPLEX REHAB TECHNOLOGY CRITICAL TO PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES. Medicare is planning to cut funding on January 1, 2017 for complex rehab technology (CRT). Please contact your Members of Congress and tell them to protect access to CRT and pass H.R. 3229 and S. 2196 this year! Email your Members of Congress: www.protectmymobility.org or call your Members of Congress: 202-224-3121

Your help is needed to get Congress to stop major cuts in the reimbursement for complex rehab technology (CRT) items. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) tells beneficiaries that cuts in reimbursement are a good thing. After all, it reduces out-of-pocket expenses, and everybody wants that, right? Not necessarily. Here's why.

Consider any item you buy retail such as appliances, cars, cameras, or furniture. Imagine that the government took retail prices for all of the products in any of those categories and chose a median price of those items to set the price you can pay for any item in that category. Now, imagine the government asks sellers of those products to bid the lowest price they will accept for any of the items in that category. As a result, what was a median price of all of the products is now based on the lowest bid prices for the lowest cost item in the category. Now the maximum you can pay for any of the products in that category has dropped, maybe as much as 40%.

Imagine going shopping with this reduced amount of money to spend and attempting to buy a highly featured, quality-built product in that category. You may find that you are able to pay a fair price for the least expensive product on the market. You most likely will also find a large number of high quality, highly featured products unobtainable. But, you can still buy a product and the price for that product is a good price, right? Unfortunately, it isn't the product you need. I think you understand the problem. That is exactly what CMS did last year to the Medicare fee schedule for critical wheelchair components and accessories used on CRT manual wheelchairs and will be doing it for CRT power wheelchairs if Congress does not act this year.

Many stakeholders have been fighting to ensure access to wheelchair components and accessories used by people with disabilities who require individually prescribed products — products that will meet their specific needs — remains accessible.

Your help is needed to get Congress to stop these cuts before the end of the year. Go to www.ProtectMyMobility.org and follow the easy-to-follow steps. It will only take a few minutes of your time, but your action is needed to be sure you or those you care about can obtain the technology they need beyond December 2016.

Posted by: Date: 11/16/2016 12:00:00 AM
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