NRRTS "Kicks It Up A Notch" in St. Louis


St. Louis — If the annual conference for the National Registry of Rehabilitation Technology Suppliers (NRRTS) could be summed up in one word this year, it would be "professionalism."

Rehab technology suppliers from around the country gathered not only to talk about best practices and perennial concerns such as funding, but also to tackle such complex topics as developing a universal seating/mobility evaluation/assessment form that could conceivably help payors to better understand a client's clinical needs and the resulting medical necessities for equipment.

The event began with RTS and clinician training on seating and wheeled mobility, and advanced clinical education for the RTS. On Friday, the "open to everyone" portion of the educational offerings began, with NRRTS members, friends of NRRTS and corporate sponsors and supporters being welcomed by outgoing President Dan Lipka and incoming President Mike Seidel.

During the next two days, attendees had opportunities at various times for group learning and breakout sessions that focused on "thinking outside the order form." Denise Fletcher and Jeff Baird provided business advice and discussions, and Mary Ellen Buning talked about wheelchair transportation safety (including visuals that showed what happens to test dummies that aren't properly secured in their wheelchairs during simulated car crashes).

As rehab professionals confront upcoming coding changes and funding uncertainties, they were nevertheless reminded of how vital their expertise is, courtesy of keynote speaker Skip Wilkins, injured in a waterskiing accident at 17 and later internationally known as a wheelchair athlete and motivational speaker.

"In life, we have to compete with what we have — all we have and all we don't," Wilkins told the crowd. "You are changing people's lives — people who wish they didn't have to deal with you. I applaud you for that and thank you for that."

This article originally appeared in the September 2005 issue of Mobility Management.

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