Traditionally, each fall Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) advocates fly in to Washington, D.C., to educate congressional lawmakers on CRT-related issues. This year, delegations from each state met with healthcare liaisons in a virtual format to discuss their biggest concerns. Each delegation is composed of CRT suppliers, manufacturers and end users.
Adequate access to CRT products and supporting services is critical to minimizing health care costs from medical complications and interventions. It is also needed to allow people with disabilities to maximize their independence.
The advocacy program is a collaborative effort between industry stakeholders associated with NCART (National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology) and NRRTS (National Registry of Rehabilitation Technology Suppliers), plus end users affiliated with the #UNITE4CRT project. A consortium of disability organizations also banded together and was represented in the delegations.
This year’s topics included:
• Urging state representatives to sign onto bills ensuring continued funding for CRT and highlighting the importance of funding for new technologies (standing systems, etc.).
• Encouraging the extension of funding for telehealth provided by physical and occupational therapists, which originally came about as a result of the Covid-19 public health emergency, and continues to work well — particularly in rural areas.
• Highlighting the need for federal financial assistance for CRT providers who are constrained by pre‐determined pricing structures that fail to factor in the new operating and cost realities of providing CRT and supplies (provision of Personal Protective Equipment for employees and customers, supply chain challenges, higher product costs, increased freight charges, etc.). Unfortunately, CRT providers do not have the ability to raise prices to cover the increased costs as they are subject to Medicare, Medicaid, and other third‐party payer fee schedules which are typically derived from Medicare rates.
By all accounts, the advocates’ messages were well-received but this is an on-going effort that could benefit from your awareness and input. Check out the resources below for more information.
Recent update (October 2021) from NCART
UNITE4CRT monthly conversation schedule