Thursday, November 19, 2015
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Independent Living Resource Center San Francisco
825 Howard Street
San Francisco, California
Background: Complex Rehabilitation Technology (CRT) includes the complex and individually configured wheelchairs and equipment used by people with mobility impairments. Unfortunately, CRT is provided under the Durable Medical Equipment benefit in Medicare. This has historically created problems, including rules that the equipment could only be useful “in the home,” and that CRT is not available to people transitioning from nursing facilities back home.
This problem got worse with the creation of the competitive bidding program. While Congress exempted CRT power chairs from the program, they did not exempt CRT manual chairs. The federal Medicare office has also expanded the program several times. Implementation of competitive bidding has already caused problems across the nation with access to CRT and appropriate chairs.
Most recently, Medicare announced that they would include, in competitive bidding, all “accessories” of manual and power chairs. This includes seating systems, head rests, tilt and lift, and more. This will take effect January 1, 2016. This change will exacerbate existing problems and further limit access to appropriate equipment.
Current Action: The Ensuring Access to Complex Rehabilitation Technology Act would end competitive bidding for CRT, remove CRT from Durable Medical Equipment and end the “in the home” restriction. It would create a new benefit in Medicare for CRT with quality controls and a new, independent pricing system based on ensuring access.
Advocacy Campaign: Congress needs to hear why CRT matters to you. We are hosting an event where you can contact congress via a postcard including pictures, and written messages to share the importance of CRT. Please come make your own postcard showing the importance of your chair, especially the “accessories” that are necessities! We’ll bring the camera, you bring your story!
Please contact Fiona via email at Fiona@ilrcsf.org or via phone at 415-543-6222 Ext. 1106 to RSVP or request an accommodation.
NOTE: ILRCSF is wheelchair accessible and provides reasonable accommodations, upon advanced request.In order to be fully accessible to all people with disabilities, ours is a scent-free office. When visiting ILRCSF, please do not wear any scented products, including perfumes, aftershave, hairspray, etc.