4/25/12: Representative Joe Crowley (D-NY), a member of the House Ways & Means Committee, has introduced HR 4378, the “Ensuring Access to Quality Complex Rehabilitation Technology Act of 2012.”

On April 16, Rep. Crowley introduced the bill, “Ensuring Access to Quality Complex Rehabilitation Technology Act of 2012.” Click here to view a final draft of the bill, since the GPO has not yet released their official version. The ITEM Coalition has drafted a letter asking members of the House to co-sponsor the bill.

Background on the underlying patient access issues the bill addresses:

Complex Rehab Technology entails a broader baseline of services than those that are currently referred to under the Medicare program as “durable medical equipment” or “DME.” CRT is prescribed and customized to meet the specific medical and functional needs of individuals with disabilities and medical conditions such as, but not limited to, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Spinal Cord Injury, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), and Spina Bifida. However, because CRT is currently coupled with the more general DME benefit, these patients face a series of challenges trying to access the appropriate and necessary technologies and services.

HR 4378 addresses those challenges by:

  • Ensuring access to appropriate products and technology based on a person’s functional needs, rather than diagnosis;
  • Allowing individuals to access devices that can be used outside of the home and in the community, allowing individuals to work and participate in community life; and
  • Ensuring access to local CRT suppliers equipped to make repairs and maintenance for specialized devices.

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