The approved legislations was unanimously approved in the Tennessee House of Representatives

NASHVILLE, Tennessee—On Wednesday, April 24 the Tennessee House of Representatives unanimously approved (96-0) an amended version of HB 2147/SB 2368, legislation that ensures patients have strong access to effective preventative maintenance and repairs for complex rehab technology (CRT).

The newly adopted legislation:

  • Requires Tenncare plans to cover and pay for preventative maintenance on CRT wheelchairs at least once per year (a flat reimbursement rate for that service is expected to be established in the coming months).
  • Establishes the right of consumers to self-repair and purchase certain CRT repair parts directly from the manufacturer; applicable parts are listed in the amended bill.
  • Implements “service what you sell” for CRT, requiring a CRT provider that sold a wheelchair to a Tennessee consumer to service that equipment (with some exceptions).

The provisions will go into effect on July 1, 2024.

Concerted Campaign Pays Off with First-of-a-Kind Result

Most notably, this bill marks the first time that a preventative maintenance provision for CRT with reimbursement has been passed in any state.

This success follows a concerted campaign by Tennessee mobility advocates that began in earnest more than a year ago. The American Association for Homecare's (AAHomecare) Laura Williard and Alexis Ward worked with policy leads at Permobil, NSM, Numotion, Quantum and Sunrise Medical to make an effective case with key Tennessee legislators.  

Active engagement from the Tennessee Disability Coalition and effective direct lobbying efforts by John Goetz of Bridge Public Affairs were also critical to moving the bill forward, AAHomecare said. The credibility and commitment of lead sponsors Rep. Michael Hale and Sen. Bo Watson also brought on widespread support throughout the General Assembly.

The amended bill language can be seen here. Yesterday’s House affirmation follows unanimous Senate approval on Apr. 8 (29-0). The Governor is expected to sign the measure soon.