WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 17, 2020)—The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced their strategy to implement the manual complex rehab technology (CRT) provisions that were incorporated in last month’s Omnibus Bill (HR 1865) that passed on Dec. 20, 2019. The provisions provide permanent exclusion for manual CRT wheelchairs from the competitive bidding program and also exempts manual CRT accessories from bidding-derived pricing for an 18-month period starting on Jan. 1, 2020. The provisions cover the following wheelchair HCPCS codes: E1161, E1235, E1236, E1237, E1238, K0005, and K0008 and accessories that accompany these wheelchairs.

CMS states that their claims processing system will likely not be updated to properly process these changes until July 1, 2020 or later. In the interim, suppliers will be reimbursed based on the adjusted fee schedule amount and will receive the additional relief amount retroactively after their claims processing system is updated. Suppliers are directed to continue to submit claims for the affected items in the interim.

In correspondence with AAHomecare, CMS acknowledges that there is still much work to be done on implementing this relief. AAHomecare looks forward to continuing to work with CMS on ensuring relief for suppliers. The implementation of this relief is similar to previous work with providing retroactive payments with the Cures relief in 2016. See the CMS announcement here (under "Implementation of Section 106 of the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020").

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