Sending Office: Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.
Sent By: Erik.Kinney@mail.house.gov

Supported by multiple patient, medical professional and supplier organizations, including: American Association for Homecare, American Physical Therapy Association, Brain Injury Association of America, Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, Easter Seals, National Association for Home Care & Hospice, National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Registry of Rehab Technology Suppliers, Paralyzed Veterans of America, United Spinal Association

Dear Colleague,

            Individuals with significant medical conditions like cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries face unique physical and functional challenges and require more than just a standard wheelchair to be able to live their lives freely. Many of these individuals instead rely on complex rehabilitation technology products, such as specialized power wheelchairs, highly configurable manual wheelchairs and adaptive seating and positioning systems, to move and function on a daily basis and to meet their medical needs.

            Currently, the Medicare program includes these products in the same category as standard durable medical equipment – i.e. traditional manual wheelchairs. However, individuals who use complex rehabilitation technology products tend to differ from the traditional Medicare population and have vastly different needs. Furthermore, these complex and often customizable products require a broader range of services and specialized personnel, as well as much more training and education for suppliers to ensure appropriate use.

            We have introduced the Ensuring Access to Quality Complex Rehabilitation Technology Act to create a separate benefit category under Medicare for these specific products. This separate category would allow for targeted coverage and payment policies that address the unique situations of this specialized subset of durable medical equipment and the people with disabilities it serves.

            Additionally, to help prevent fraud and abuse, our legislation would establish clinical conditions for coverage that ensure these items are being prescribed appropriately. When these items are prescribed, an evaluation must be conducted by a licensed physical or occupational therapist with no financial relationship to the supplier. Additionally, suppliers will have to be accredited by an independent accreditation organization demonstrating that they are compliant with enhanced quality standards. This will improve program safeguards by increasing quality standards for suppliers of these items.

            Please join us in ensuring that our constituents have access to quality technology that meets their needs and helps improve their quality of life. To cosponsor, or if you have any questions, please contact Erik Kinney aterik.kinney@mail.house.gov or at 55101 or Nicole Cohen at nicole.cohen@mail.house.gov or at 53965.

Sincerely,

F. James Sensenbrenner                                              Joseph Crowley

Member of Congress                                                   Member of Congress

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Selected legislative information: HealthCare, Social Security