NCART targets the other payer that starts with M

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

BUFFALO, N.Y. - When it comes to Medicaid programs, rehab providers often live by different rules and reimbursements, but there's still something they can learn from each other, says Don Clayback.

"What happens in New Hampshire this week may happen in Montana next week," said the executive director of NCART.

That's why NCART will host a National Medicaid Summit at the Marriott Nashville Airport Hotel Oct. 6-7 to encourage discussion between rehab providers in different states and to make them aware of the tools available to affect change.

The Medicaid Summit will feature presentations on, among other things, Medicaid regulations, supplier responsibilities and rights, and advocacy. Also on tap: case studies.

"They'll go over, here's what happened in our state, here's how we found out, here's what we did and here's the current status," Clayback said. "You can't beat real-life examples."

The Medicaid Summit is only NCART's latest attempt to help rehab providers unravel Medicaid, one of their biggest payers. The group also has a section on its Web site that features Medicaid news; tools and links, including each state's fee schedule and policies; strategic assistance from its Medicaid Committee; and a discussion board.

"One of our hopes for the Medicaid Summit is to get people to realize the value of the Web site as a central place for people to go to when they are looking to see what's happening in other states," said Doug Westerdahl, chairman of the Medicaid Committee and president of Monroe Wheelchair in Rochester, N.Y. "This is a huge value as individual states make cutbacks."

NCART also has its eye on the future. If it can get Medicare to recognize a separate benefit for complex rehab, it would then like to do the same with the different Medicaid programs.

"That's the next step for the benefit," Clayback said.