MM’s Annual Round Table

The Changes You Need to Know About for 2012

The start of a new year is never short on drama for the seating& mobility industry — and 2012 is no different. As we were headed to press, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) dropped a pair of bombshells: the long-awaited timeline for the second round of Medicare’s competitive bidding program, along with a seven-state Medicare demonstration project that will require a combination of prepayment reviews and prior authorizations for scooters and most types of power wheelchairs.

In our annual round table section, therefore, we take a closer look at major funding and reimbursement changes for the new year, with The Orion Group’s Claudia Amortegui giving her views on what some of the greatest challenges are likely to be. (Information here was accurate at press time, but issues on several fronts were evolving quickly, so go to mobilitymgmt.com for updates and the latest information.)

Of course, reimbursement is not the only issue industry experts are thinking about as providers and clinicians roll up their sleeves for another year.

Josh Anderson, VP of marketing, TiLite, is known for his creative approaches to public relations. But Josh is also a long-time seating& mobility consumer himself, and he tells us what kind of education today’s end-user needs most…and why.

Lois Brown, MPT, ATP, Invacare Corp.’s rehab clinical education specialist, brings not just years of experience working with consumers with extremely complex seating & mobility needs, but also a passion for helping the “whole” person. She talks about what that means and why it’s so central to her approach to her work.

Ann Eubank, LMSW, OTR/L, ATP, VP of community initiatives for UsersFirst, a program of United Spinal, comes from the clinical world, but most recently has been working directly for and with consumers. Our tricky questions for Ann center around the most eff ective routes for consumer advocacy to take, as well as why seating, mobility and accessibility professionals have often had a difficult time convincing consumers to speak out for the industry as well as for themselves.

Mark E. Smith is Pride Mobility Products’ consumer research manager by day, and the creative (and sometimes gloriously outrageous) force behind Wheelchairjunkie.com once he leaves his desk.

Mark is a seating & mobility consumer, and asked the greatest needs that consumers in this industry have, Mark detailed a “people first” approach that can go a long way toward building a successful match between technology and client.

I’ll take this opportunity to introduce several new advisory board members, as well. I’ll be depending on all of them for counsel, and you’ll be hearing from them throughout the year.

Consider this year’s round table one of your first informational and educational stops as you plan your strategy and your next moves.

This article originally appeared in the January 2012 issue of Mobility Management.

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at lwatanabe@1105media.com.

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