Editor’s Note: Wheel:Life is a strong advocate for all of our readers nationwide who depend on wheelchairs for daily mobility and independence. We feel it’s important to keep you informed of health insurance issues that may limit or impede your access to a better quality of life. The upcoming Medicare change for Complex Rehab Technology [CRT] is an urgent issue that you need to be aware of and take action on using the links below. Special thanks goes to our friends at NCART and Ki Mobility for providing the details in this article.
Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) includes medically necessary and individually configured manual wheelchairs, power wheelchairs, seating systems, and other adaptive equipment such as standing devices and gait trainers. CRT is needed by people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Spinal Cord Injury, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Traumatic Brain Injury, etc. to maximize their function, daily independence and minimize their healthcare treatments and costs.
Medicare Is Cutting Funding to Complex Rehab Technology
Medicare is planning to cut funding on January 1, 2017 for complex rehab technology (CRT) that is needed by so many people who depend on CRT to live full and productive lives.
In today’s world of health care reform, it is important that legislators and policy makers at the federal and state levels promote access to technology and services that enable people with disabilities to live full and productive lives.
Unfortunately, this Medicare change is doing the opposite and reducing access to CRT for people with disabilities.
Properly providing CRT, such as power wheelchairs, to people with disabilities requires an extremely service intensive process that includes:
- initial evaluation
- final assembly
- adjustment and
CRT assistance items are typically provided through a clinician and provider team model that involves matching a person’s medical and functional needs to the appropriate configuration of various technologies.
Once an individual’s assistive equipment is delivered, it then must be supported with ongoing maintenance, repairs, and modifications.
CRT is Good For Everyone, and Everyone Should Protect Access to It
Investing and supporting access to CRT is good for everyone. The appropriate application of Complex Rehab Technology products and services produces significant benefits to the individuals using the equipment, to health care professionals, and to organizations paying the costs of health care.
That’s because being properly fit for CRT helps reduce an individual’s health issues, such as:
- pressure ulcers,
- muscle imbalances,
- contracture development, or
- other health concerns that may develop from poor posture or other problems that commonly arise from ill-fitting wheelchairs.
What You Should Do Right Now: Take Action Below & Share!
Please contact your Members of Congress and tell them to protect access to CRT by passing two bills: H.R. 3229 and S. 2196 this year!
Email your Members of Congress instantly via www.protectmymobility.org or call your Congressional Representatives at 202-224-3121.
For additional information regarding CRT and issues impacting your access to wheelchairs, visit www.access2crt.org.
Help Us Better Help You with Updates on Complex Rehab Technology
If you’d like to stay informed with updates on CRT that may impact your access to mobility equipment like wheelchairs, please also take a minute to answer two questions on how you prefer to learn about these topics. TAKE OUR POLL.
The National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology (NCART) is a national organization of suppliers and manufacturers of Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) products and services used by individuals with significant disabilities and chronic medical conditions. NCART seeks to ensure these individuals have appropriate access to CRT products and supporting services.
In pursuit of that goal, NCART works with consumers, clinicians, and physicians along with federal, state and private policy makers to establish and protect appropriate coverage, coding, supplier standards, and funding policies. Visit http://www.ncart.us.
About Ki Mobility
At Ki Mobility, innovative design leads to a functional product which improves lives and makes mobility easier. We deliver performance and structural integrity through the design of our ultra-lightweight manual wheelchairs. We don’t just make wheelchairs, we make wheelchairs better.
What makes a wheelchair extraordinary is how well it fits the needs and ambitions of the person using it. Our service and product lines ensure that each individual story matters. We feel it is important that both our people and our products remain accessible and available to you. We strive to create a unique place in the market: offering you more than just best-in-class products.
We understand that a great product experience for customers and the people we serve lasts a lifetime. From product specification, fitting and adjusting to training and maintenance, we are here to support you. Visit www.kimobility.com.
Note: This article was written in collaboration with NCART and our sponsor, Ki Mobility. This article is for informational use only and is not intended to be construed as medical advice. Ask your doctor about issues related to your health and medical needs.