This week Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act, a massive 996-page bill that provides funding for a number of health research initiatives. At the last minute, Congress included language to protect access to mobility equipment in Medicare.
The federal Medicare office had been planning payment cuts that would have seriously hampered access to Complex Rehab Technology (CRT). CRT products include individually configured manual and power wheelchairs, seating and positioning systems, and other adaptive devices designed to meet the person’s unique medical and functional needs; all essential for health and independence for people living with paralysis. These cuts were scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2017, and the Reeve Foundation and our partners in DC have spent the last few months urging Congress to stop the cuts.
But we couldn’t have done it without you. Through your efforts, more than 300 emails, tweets, and Facebook posts were directed at legislators and helped spur support to delay these cuts.
Our victory, however, is a short-lived one. The legislation provides just a six-month delay in cuts to CRT, making it imperative that we keep pressure on Congress to put a permanent solution put in place next year.
Please take just a moment to thank your legislators for passing the 21st Century Cures Act, and let them know that we’ll be working with them in early 2017 to enact policies to assure continued access to this specialized equipment for the people with disabilities who depend on it.