as shared from our colleagues at Access Living (cil)
Dear Access Living friends and allies,
Today, we wanted to alert you to a critical problem facing Illinoisans who use Complex Rehab Technology (CRT). Complex Rehab Technology, or CRT, includes specialized wheelchairs, seating systems, and other adaptive equipment for people with significant disabilities. Providing CRT involves evaluation, equipment trials, assembly, delivery, fitting, adjustment, and training. Once the equipment is delivered it must then be supported with ongoing maintenance, repairs, and modifications. CRT is a part of a larger category of equipment called Durable Medical Equipment (DME), which may be more familiar to some of you.
Due to the state’s fiscal crisis and cuts to Medicaid, the two major Illinois CRT providers, National Seating and Mobility and NuMotion, have suspended equipment deliveries and repairs until at least. According to the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services (HFS), the status of requests for Medicaid funded CRT service statewide are as follows:
New requests: 93
Repair requests: 100
Modification requests: 38
Another 149 are in the queue, but have not been processed.
Why is this happening? This spring, a budget bill was passed to finish state funding through . That bill contained a 2.25% cut to CRT and to many other Medicaid services. However, the cut is retroactive to July 1, 2014. This meant that the total overall amount of the cut has to be squeezed into the last couple of months of the fiscal year. This meant that for the remainder of the year, the CRT companies in reality experienced a 16.75% cut, which was not enough to keep serving people. NuMotion has stressed they will keep working on situations that are “life threatening”; National Seating and Mobility has not drawn that line as far as we know.
Our reaction at Access Living of course has been great dismay since so many people in our community use CRT. We have been actively communicating with HFS and with legislators to ask what can be done until . The problem is, it appears that very little can be done until , except for two things we would like to ask for your help with.
First, if you have Medicaid and you are expecting a delivery or repair sometime between now and firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP. Access Living staff will help to bring your case to the attention of people who can help. You can also call HFS at 800-226-0768 and select option 5 (HFS Recipient Help Line)., please contact Amber Smock at
Second, we need all disability advocates to help take action at this link to let state officials and key legislators know that we are concerned about Medicaid-funded CRT services and we need them to fight for full funding. Please do this asap and ask your friends to help.
Please feel free to share this widely. Let’s go Illinois!