Senators introduce accessories bill

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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

WASHINGTON – Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, on April 29 introduced a bill to provide relief for complex rehab wheelchairs and accessories, according to NCART.

S. 1223 would exempt complex rehab manual and power wheelchairs and any wheelchair accessory, cushion or back when furnished in connection with a wheelchair from Medicare competitive bidding pricing. Casey and Portman introduced a similar bill in the last congressional session.

Earlier in April, Reps. John Larson, D-Conn., and Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., introduced H.R. 2293, a bill to suspend bid pricing for accessories for complex rehab manual wheelchairs for 18 months and to permanently exempt complex rehab manual wheelchairs from the program. 

Complex rehab stakeholders are meeting in Washington, D.C., this week to lobby members of Congress to pass the bills.

“The timing is perfect,” said Don Clayback, executive director of NCART, in a bulletin to members.

Late last year, H.R. 7217, a larger bill that included accessories language, stalled in the Senate at the 11th hour. The bill had passed in the House 400-11.

In 2017, CMS decided it would not apply bid pricing to accessories for complex rehab power wheelchairs, but the agency didn’t extend that decision to accessories for complex rehab manual wheelchairs.