The Spina Bifida Association has several advocacy priorities that reflect the needs of our diverse community. One of those priorities is related to advocating for legislation on Complex Rehab Technology (CRT). What is complex rehab technology, you ask? According to the National Coalition for Assistive & Rehab Technology (NCART), CRT includes products that are “medically necessary and individually configured devices that require evaluation, configuration, fitting, adjustment or programming.”
These products and services are custom to the specific needs of an individual. Examples of devices that fall under the CRT umbrella are; individually configured manual wheelchairs, power wheelchairs, seating and positioning systems, and other adaptive equipment such as standing devices and gait trainers.
Currently, insurance companies are attempting to put complex rehab technology devices through the competitive bidding process. Meaning, that every part of the device, other than the frame would be considered an accessory or an “extra”. This is concerning for our community because many people consider their mobility device to be an extension of themselves, and the aspects of the device that competitive bidding deems as accessories are essential for people to fully navigate their world independently.
During our annual advocacy event, Teal on the Hill , we urged our Members of Congress to support the two bills related to CRT that have been introduced. To date, the House Bill has 69 cosponsors and the senate bill has 9 cosponsors. Congress is currently in recess, and NCART is encouraging people to fully engage their members of congress and urge them to support these pieces of legislation. There is a plethora of ways to do this, including; emails, tagging them in social media posts and scheduling in-person visits at their local offices.
We hope you join us April 26-28 for Teal on the Hill 2020 to continue the fight for Complex Rehab Technology. Stay tuned to our social media for updates on our advocacy priorities and efforts.