Protecting Beneficiary Access to Complex Rehab Technology Act of 2017 (H.R. 1361) (S. 486)

Background:

Medicare’s Competitive Bidding Program causes the prices of certain assistive medical equipment vary region to region, making it difficult for some individuals to gain the assistance they need. Products available through competitive bidding include but are not limited to: manual and powered wheelchairs, walkers, diabetes testing supplies, oxygen related equipment, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure devices, and patient lifts.

The Competitive Bidding Program causes products to fluctuate in price depending on which bidding area the individual lives in. Areas with less competitive bidding will result in a higher price per product, making it quite difficult for an individual to obtain the technology to meet their basic personal needs.

Congress has recently introduced a bill to protect and ensure patients’ access to some of these products. The Separate MC Complex Rehab Bill (H.R. 1361) (S. 486) would eliminate the competitive bidding process on all items related to complex rehab wheelchairs and accessories. Instead, Medicare would provide fair and consistent prices to all consumers who require complex rehab wheelchairs for mobility. This would allow individuals and caregivers to have better access to the products necessary for independent function.

 

Status:

This bill was introduced in the House by Representative Lee M. Zeldin (R-NY) in March 2017 and was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means. It was since referred to House Energy and Commerce as well as House Ways and Means.

This bill was also introduced to the Senate by Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA) and read twice by the Committee on Finance in March 2017.

 

Key Terms:

Competitive Bidding Areas – Suppliers bid on regions to have their equipment featured under the Medicare program. Medicare uses bids from suppliers to determine the price of each product.

Complex Rehab Power Wheelchair – A power wheelchair that is individually designed to the person’s medical and functional needs. It can be customized to have different modifications that can maximize the individual’s freedom.

 

Supporting Organizations:
American Association for Homecare
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
United Spinal Association

 

Cosponsors:
House of Representatives
Larson, John B. [D-CT-1]
Joyce, David P. [R-OH-14]
Latta, Robert E. [R-OH-5]
Renacci, James B. [R-OH-16]
Tiberi, Patrick J. [R-OH-12]
Loebsack, David [D-IA-2]
Ellison, Keith [D-MN-5]
Blackburn, Marsha [R-TN-7]
DelBene, Suzan K. [D-WA-1]
Higgins, Brian [D-NY-26]
Young, David [R-IA-3]
Blumenauer, Earl [D-OR-3]
Kaptur, Marcy [D-OH-9]
Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana [R-FL-27]
McMorris Rodgers, Cathy [R-WA-5]
Lance, Leonard [R-NJ-7]
Black, Diane [R-TN-6]
Crowley, Joseph [D-NY-14]
DeLauro, Rosa L. [D-CT-3]
Esty, Elizabeth H. [D-CT-5]
Keating, William R. [D-MA-9]
Pocan, Mark [D-WI-2]
Langevin, James R. [D-RI-2]
Moulton, Seth [D-MA-6]

 

 

Senate
Portman, Rob [R-OH]
Coons, Christopher A. [D-DE]
Gardner, Cory [R-CO]
Brown, Sherrod [D-OH]
Roberts, Pat [R-KS]
Stabenow, Debbie [D-MI]
Capito, Shelley Moore [R-WV]
Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [D-NY]
Blunt, Roy [R-MO]