CRT Stakeholders and Friends, Last week was a busy and productive week in the cause of protecting access to Complex Rehab Technology. Senate CRT Companion Bill Reintroduced- Senators Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) reintroduced the "Ensuring Access to Quality Complex Rehabilitation Technology Act". The new Senate bill number is S-1013. This is the companion to House CRT bill HR-1516. With both the Senate and House bills now in place we will begin the national grassroots efforts to get last year's co-sponsors to sign on again and to secure new co-sponsors. National CRT Leadership and Advocacy Conference- Last Tuesday through Thursday 190 providers, manufacturers, consumers, clinicians, and other advocates came together in Washington, DC for the National CRT Leadership and Advocacy Conference. The first day was focused on business issues, the second day on advocacy, and the third day was spent taking the CRT message directly to Congress. The collective CRT advocacy group made a RECORD number 260 visits to Members of Congress as part of the conference! The message to Congress was focused on two critical CRT access issues: (1) Stop the application of Competitive Bid Pricing to Complex Rehab Wheelchair Accessories scheduled for January 1, 2016 and (2) Co-Sponsor the CRT Separate Benefit Category legislation and pass it this year. A one-pager detailing our "asks" to congress can be found at Initial Congressional Visit Reports from conference attendees were very positive both in terms of a notable increase in Congressional CRT awareness and in terms of Congress' willingness to help. Now the attendees will carry out the important follow up work over the course of this week and next. We will also be updating the Congressional emails and supporting advocacy materials on the NCART and Access2CRT websites. This will allow CRT stakeholders from across the country to re-engage with their Members of Congress as we move forward. Stay tuned for more information and let's keep the momentum going! Regards, Don Donald E. Clayback Executive Director | NCART Office 716-839-9728 | Cell 716-913-4754 [email protected] |