On its last 2015 legislative day, Congress passed S. 2425, the "Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act." The bill includes, among other bipartisan Medicare provisions, a 1-year delay preventing CMS from inappropriately restricting access to critical complex wheelchair components/accessories, which was slated to begin on January 1, 2016.
This 1-year delay will ensure that individuals with significant disabilities continue to receive the specialized technology they depend on to be functional and independent. While Congress did not include the permanent fix for the CRT problem in the bill passed – this 1-year delay provides the opportunity in 2016 for further work on the wheelchair accessories issue and in establishing needed improvements for CRT within Medicare and other health insurance programs.
The Academy’s leadership on this issue, particularly the resolution it shepherded through the AMA House of Delegates, was instrumental in getting this bill passed. Special thanks to AAPM&R AMA Representatives Sue Hubbell, MD and Leon Reinstein, MD, and the Health Policy and Legislation Committee for their work. This legislative success would not have occurred without the dedication and collective work of AAPM&R and the entire Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) community, including the ITEM Coalition, of which AAPM&R is an active member.