New Bill Could Allow Easier Access to Complex Rehabilitation Technology for Rare Disease Patients

H.R. 2408

H.R. 2408 is a new piece of federal legislation otherwise known as the “Ensuring Access to Quality Complex Rehabilitation Technology Act.” Essentially, this act creates a new category in Medicare which covers complex rehabilitation technology (CRT) for patients with unique and severe needs. This bipartisan bill was introduced by Congressman Brian Higgins and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner.

This bill would be uniquely meaningful for individuals living with rare diseases such as muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, or cerebral palsy. These patients often require CRT in their normal, day-to-day life.

Essentially, this bill would provide targeted coverage of CRT and payment policies that are specific to the needs of those with disabilities that require CRT.

Some of the organizations supporting this new legislation are the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Brain Injury Association of America, and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice.

The Current Legislation

CRT includes configurable manual wheelchairs, power wheelchairs, seating/positioning systems, and other technology. They are often customizable and necessitate more training/education to ensure proper use. Currently, these items are grouped with standard medical equipment in Medicare. This means they have the same reimbursement criteria. However, this criteria was developed before a lot of CRT was even invented.

The goal of this new legislation is to remove some of the barriers that impede access for those who necessitate CRT.

H.R. 2408 would require that a licensed occupational or physical therapist conduct an evaluation of the prescribed CRT to prevent fraud and ensure quality standards on behalf of suppliers.

Providing Independence

This bill could potentially mean that individuals who would otherwise have to spend their lives in a nursing home or other facility would instead be able to live independently. Access to specialized medical equipment could make a significant difference in the quality of life of those living with rare debilitating conditions. This technology allows the highest possible level of inclusion and independence for those with severe disabilities.

Additionally, this technology can reduce the long-term healthcare costs for these individuals.

But most importantly, CRT provides indescribable benefits to the quality of life of patients and their caregivers.

You can read more about this new bill here.

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