Back in June the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which is a non-partisan agency that investigates how the government is spending tax money, released a report that validated much of the information the CRT industry was conveying on the need for legislation to keep CRT accessories removed from competitive bidding. Just this week GAO released a supplemental report, as required by Congress, on what reimbursement rates would be if power wheelchair accessory rates were to be applied to competitive bidding. The analysis reaffirmed the importance of Congress passing legislation to keep accessories out of the competitive bidding program.
The report found that with the adjusted 2016 payment rates, it would save the Medicare program approximately $19 million dollars per year. To put that in perspective those savings account for 0.0028% of the entire 672.6 billion dollar Medicare budget. Yet, these initial savings would threaten access to specialized, individually-configured products and the services required to properly care for them. As many in the DME industry are feeling the impacts of deep reimbursement cuts, CRT accessories must remain out of the competitive bidding program.
H.R. 3229 and S. 2196, are two bills which set out to prohibit the application of competitive bidding rates to these accessories continues to make waves and gain support. In fact, just this past week Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), the lead sponsor of H.R. 3229 held a press conference at The Children’s Center at United Cerebral Palsy of Long Island. Rep. Zeldin emphasized the importance of passing this legislation during the current congressional session. You can view the entire press conference by clicking here. Providers should continue to call their representatives and urge their support of this legislation in order to protect access to vital for individuals with disabilities