Ensuring Access to Complex Rehab Technology
The National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology (NCART) is a national organization of suppliers and manufacturers of Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) products and services used by individuals with significant disabilities and chronic medical conditions. NCART seeks to ensure these individuals have adequate access to CRT products and supporting services. In pursuit of that goal, NCART works with consumers, clinicians, and physicians along with federal, state and private policy makers to establish and protect appropriate coverage, coding, supplier standards, and funding policies.
What is Complex Rehab Technology?
CRT includes medically necessary and individually configured manual and power wheelchairs, seating and positioning systems, and other adaptive equipment such as standing devices and gait trainers. This specialized equipment requires evaluation, configuration, fitting, adjustment, or programming to meet the individual’s medical needs and maximize function and independence. These products are designed to meet the specific and unique medical and functional needs of an individual with a primary diagnoses resulting from a congenital disorder, progressive or degenerative neuromuscular disease, or from an injury or trauma.
The primary diagnoses that can require Complex Rehab Technology include, but are not limited to:
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Cerebral palsy
- Muscular dystrophy
- Spina bifida
- Osteogenesis imperfecta
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Demyelinating diseases
- Progressive muscular atrophy
- Anterior horn cell diseases
- Post-polio paralysis
- Cerebellar degeneration
- Huntington’s chorea
- Spinocerebellar disease
- Paralysis or paresis
In establishing the necessity for CRT, consideration is always given to the person’s immediate and anticipated medical and functional needs. These needs may include, but not be limited to, activities of daily living (ADLs), instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), functional mobility, positioning, pressure relief, and communication. These are addressed to enable the individual to accomplish these tasks safely and as independently as possible in all environments the individual is expected to encounter.
The provision of CRT is done through an interdisciplinary team consisting of, at a minimum, a physician, an occupational therapist and/or physical therapist, and a CRT Supplier. The team collectively provides both clinical services and technology related services. The individual’s medical and functional needs are identified by the clinical team and then these needs are matched to products and configured by the Complex Rehab Technology Supplier.