The CRT Cuts Are Worse Than We Thought
Analysis by Mark Higley, VGM Legislative Update
On November 23, CMS released the 2016 DMEPOS fee schedule. We knew that there would be significant cuts to complex rehab wheelchair accessories, but the cuts to CRT are much worse than we thought. As feared, the new payment rates include major reductions (as high as 30% to 40% or more) to complex rehab wheelchair accessories. We believe that the numbers we were first provided were calculated incorrectly by CMS. We cannot rely on CMS to correct this mistake.
The 2016 fee schedule can be reviewed here. Reimbursement cuts affect 171 complex rehab wheelchair accessory codes, like cushions, backs, power recline and tilt and specialty drive controls. Interestingly, some of the rates have yet to be determined (these have 0.00 next to them).
Now we know what the cuts will be in 2016, it is more important than ever to make sure that your representatives have signed onto H.R. 3229 or S. 2196. These bills provide a technical correction to clarify that CMS cannot apply Medicare competitive bidding rates to complex rehab accessories. This legislation must be passed by the end of the year. We only have 7 to 10 days to have an influence on our representatives before they leave for Christmas break.
MOBILIZE YOUR STAFF AND CLIENTS TO TAKE ACTION
Please make sure everyone in your company and all of your clients know about these cuts and urge them to contact or re-contact their Representative and Senators to sign onto H.R. 3229 and S. 2196. The message is simple: "I need you to attach H.R. 3229/S. 2196 to larger legislation and pass it before you adjourn in December."
Step 1: Email your legislators to ask them to sign onto H.R. 3229 or S. 2196 by clicking here.
Step 2: Make a phone call to your legislators. You can find the contact information for your elected officials on VGM Government Relations’ website.
EDUCATE YOUR CLIENTS
Make sure your clients are aware of how these cuts will impact their care, especially if they will have to pay for their equipment. We have put together an informational sheet to easily explain changes in reimbursement to Medicare beneficiaries. CRT Beneficiary Letter.