SUPPORT SB 420 SA 1-- Complex Rehab Technology

Complex Rehab Technology is Vital to the Independence of People with Disabilities


People with disabilities need the State to formally establish recognition of the specialized nature of complex rehab technology (CRT) and the fact that people with disabilities rely on this equipment from the time we wake up until the time we go to sleep. CRT is the term for any customized mobility device, such as a power wheelchair (and some manual chairs), customized scooter, or customized walker/stander.

This equipment allows us to be independent and also assists in reducing the costs of health care and hospitalization. Access to CRT for people with disabilities enrolled in the Medicaid program must be protected either in statute or permanent rule so that changes in Department of Health and Family Services (HFS) administration don’t lead to a need to renegotiate these items. Lack of protection, and a need to streamline the prior approval process, is causing significant delays in CRT service.

The bottom line for the disability community is that access to this vital equipment, and timely maintenance and repair of this equipment, is absolutely necessary to achieve full independence and inclusion in the community, and to avoid costly hospitalization or institutionalization that violates our civil rights under Olmstead.

To accomplish the recognition and access outlined above, SB-420 contains the following provisions:

1.) Defines CRT and establishes higher safeguards and standards to protect the Medicaid program and Medicaid beneficiaries.

2.) Streamlines the prior approval process for common wheelchair repairs to improve the timeliness of repairs and reduce the administrative cost to the state.

3.) Makes permanent the CRT payment methodology currently being used.

It is also important that the CRT products and services be excluded from any future Medicaid payment cuts given the small number of CRT providers and the fact that a reduction in access would result from such payment cuts.

If you have questions, please contact Adam Ballard at (708) 945-3893 or or Bill Filan at (312) 420-6813 or

Adam Ballard
Manager of Community Organizing