The Clinician Task Force (CTF) was originally formed in 2004 to provide a mechanism that allowed the voice of the clinical community to be involved in making a difference and ensuring appropriate access to CRT. It was during this time that there was tremendous activity surrounding Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) policy for seating and wheeled mobility coverage, coding and payment negatively impacting consumer access. The CTF was formed out of a need for a viable forum to gather the opinion and recommendations from the leaders in the clinical community formulate position papers and responses and submit them to policy makers, government officials and Congress in a timely responsive manner.
In the fall of 2004 a Stakeholders Meeting was held in Chicago to first discuss the concept of a Separate Benefit Category for Complex Rehab Technology (CRT). It was during this meeting that stakeholders recognized the need for a strong separate clinical voice. It was broadly recognized that the amount of dedicated/focused work needed could not be accomplished by volunteers alone. It was at this meeting with support from industry stakeholders that the Clinician Task Force was formed and two co-coordinators identified to lead the group.
Today more than ever, there continues to be a need for experienced clinicians in the field of wheeled mobility and seating to share their knowledge and experience regarding Complex Rehabilitation Technology (CRT) and to advocate for consumers, clinicians, suppliers and manufacturers to protect appropriate access and promote strong clinical outcomes. The CTF accomplishes this without burdensome procedures, allowing a venue that allows issues to be adequately vetted and debated and then quick response to occur.
The CTF members support the team approach as the optimal service/delivery process for CRT. We have analyzed the myriad steps in the process in an attempt to identify existing barriers, future issues related to capacity, as well as necessary education in the area of wheeled mobility and seating evaluation and proper documentation. It is important that stakeholders seek to identify the various components that challenge access as well as hidden inefficiencies that increase costs. As we seek to change the future and improve access to CRT we will strive to address as many of these issues as possible so that we ultimately achieve a sustainable process that ensures strong clinical outcomes.
While the CTF’s focus has primarily been at the national level, individual members are called upon to assist in state level issues to protect access as budget issues increasingly threaten adequate access for Medicaid recipients.