Consumers throw support behind accessories bill

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

WASHINGTON – The ITEM Coalition and 32 national consumer and clinical organizations have sent a letter to leaders in the House of Representatives, asking them to pass a bill that would halt competitive bidding-related prices for accessories for complex rehab manual wheelchairs.

“We are writing to express our strong support for this new legislation and to emphasize the importance of protecting patient access not just to accessories used with complex rehab power wheelchairs, but also to those used on complex rehab manual wheelchairs,” states the letter, which was sent to the leaders of the House Ways & Means and Energy & Commerce committees on Sept. 21.

Earlier this year, CMS stopped plans to apply bid-related pricing for complex rehab power wheelchairs. Reduced pricing for complex manual power wheelchairs, however, has been in place since Jan. 1, 2016.

Among the groups that signed on to the letter: United Spinal Association, Amputee Coalition, Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, Paralyzed Veterans of America and United Cerebral Palsy.

“This is a great sign of consumer/clinician support for the CRT manual wheelchair accessories fix,” said Don Clayback, executive director of NCART. “We encourage people to share (the letter) with their members in the quest to secure co-sponsors for the House bill.”

At press time, H.R. 3730, introduced by Reps. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., and John Larson, D-Conn., had 42 co-sponsors.