Separate benefit for complex rehab back in play

 - 
Friday, August 18, 2017

WASHINGTON – Legislation to create a separate benefit for complex rehab is on the radar of the Congressional Budget Office, says NCART Executive Director Don Clayback.

The offices of Reps. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., and Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., who introduced H.R. 750, the “Ensuring Access to Quality Complex Rehabilitation Technology Act of 2017,” on Jan. 30, have been pushing for a “score” from the CBO.

“The bill is there, it’s on their desk and it’s in their to-be-done pile,” he said.

Last week, H.R. 750 had 79 co-sponsors. A previous bill in the House drew support from 172 co-sponsors, and a companion bill in the Senate drew 19 co-sponsors.

Clayback says stakeholders met with the CBO in late 2016 and they communicated again more recently.

“It’s safe to say there is a dialogue going on around this legislation,” he said. “How soon will it have a score? That will be influenced by other factors, like healthcare reform efforts, but at least it’s being looked at.”

Stakeholders are also “regrouping” and working on getting a Senate companion bill re-introduced, Clayback says.

“We have a commitment from Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss.,” he said. “Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., given his prominence, is not really leading bills any more, but he’s still supporting it, and we’re talking to other members.”

Clayback says a score from the CBO, a near-requirement for a bill’s movement, would be a nice boost.

“There’s always been that request with past bills, but it would be a first,” he said.