REHAB EXEMPTION INTRODUCED IN CONGRESS

Legislation to exempt complex rehab and assistive technology from the national competitive bidding program was introduced in the House of Representatives on May 9, 2007.

Introduced by Congressmen Tom Allen (D-ME) and Ron Lewis (R-KY), the legislation defines complex rehabilitation products and assistive technology products as medically necessary adaptive seating, positioning and mobility devices and speech generating devices that are evaluated, fitted, configured, adjusted or programmed to meet the specific and unique needs of an individual with a primary diagnosis resulting from injury or trauma or which is neuromuscular in nature.

REHAB EXEMPTION INTRODUCED IN CONGRESS

Legislation to exempt complex rehab and assistive technology from the national competitive bidding program was introduced in the House of Representatives on May 9, 2007. Introduced by Congressmen Tom Allen (D-ME) and Ron Lewis (R-KY), the legislation defines complex rehabilitation products and assistive technology products as medically necessary adaptive seating, positioning and mobility devices and speech generating devices that are evaluated, fitted, configured, adjusted or programmed to meet the specific and unique needs of an individual with a primary diagnosis resulting from injury or trauma or which is neuromuscular in nature.

"It is necessary for Medicare beneficiaries using complex rehab technologies to receive equipment and services for their unique medical needs," stated Congressman Allen, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "Efforts to reduce health care spending, while important, must also be tailored to assure the best clinical outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries."

The Medicare Access to Complex Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Act of 2007 (H.R. 2231) would ensure that Medicare beneficiaries would continue to have access to appropriate complex rehab and assistive technology products. Without this legislation, complex rehab technology products and services that are customized and highly configurable would be unavailable to beneficiaries because their costs exceed the fee schedule amount. CMS will accept bids and award contracts only if the bid amount is below the current fee schedule.

"This legislation will assist Medicare beneficiaries with severe disabilities maintain their independence and meet their functional goals by ensuring that they have access to appropriate complex rehab and assistive technologies," stated Congressman Lewis, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

"Complex rehab technology products are unique and specialized products that are not easily interchangeable," stated Rita Hostak, President of NCART. "We are especially gratified by the leadership shown by Congressmen Lewis and Allen to recognize the unique needs that are addressed by complex rehab and assistive technology and that it deserves special consideration in the national competitive bidding program."