Lazy, Hazy? Or Busy Like Crazy?
- By Laurie Watanabe
- Sep 01, 2014
This is our September issue, but I’m writing this in the dog days of summer, when much of the rest of the world is basking in bright, hot days and generally taking things a bit slower.
Then there’s our industry. I’ve been editor of Mobility Management for 12.5 years, and if the industry has a down time, I’ve yet to find it.
Convaid’s new Trekker is loaded with positioning features, but lightweight and easy to take along…here in the trunk of a compact Hyundai Elantra. Thanks, Eli Anselmi!
Anecdotally, it’s been a busy summer for complex rehab technology (CRT). National Seating & Mobility, one of CRT’s largest providers, has appointed a new president (see MMBeat starting on page 8). Plenty of hot new products are rolling out or preparing to: Take a look at TiLite’s new Aero X Series 2 in Product Revue, page 24. While visiting Convaid’s headquarters in July, I was able to get a sneak peek at the Trekker, a fully loaded pediatric wheelchair that will expand the manufacturer’s reach to include children with the most involved positioning needs (and yet look at how easily Trekker folds into a compact car trunk!).
And don’t forget that earlier this summer, Permobil acquired TiLite, and Quantum Rehab acquired Stealth Products.
So as the innovation and the chess moves continue, we’re doing our part to keep up the intensity this summer.
This issue is our annual Ultimate Seating Guide edition, featuring the Seat Cushion Comparo. This pictorial comparison of various types of aftermarket wheelchair seat cushions for clients with various skin protection and positioning needs is one of our most popular stories each year — and if you’d like extra copies for colleagues, just download the pdf from MobilityMgmt.com. We know some readers who have given printed copies to referral sources to demonstrate the different kinds of seat cushions available and how they’re designed to address different issues.
Also in our Ultimate Seating Guide is “We Don’t Pay for Comfort,” a story that examines the intersection of clinical goals and funding realities. Too often, funding sources balk at purchasing products that they’re convinced are more about making a client comfortable than addressing a medical need. In fact, clients themselves may inadvertently add to the confusion by describing a certain seating system, positioning feature, cushion or backrest as something that makes them “more comfortable.” In our story, clinicians discuss how the concerns of all involved can be answered.
Not long ago, I was asked if I thought manufacturers these days are designing new products to meet HCPCS and payor code requirements rather than to meet the needs of clients and to move technology forward. It’s a complicated question, because obviously, CRT needs to meet the requirements set forth by payors.
At the same time, it’s impossible to miss the enthusiasm for CRT these days, in part because of continued inroads such as the separate Medicare benefit House and Senate bills (and separate CRT recognition successes and efforts at the state level). I see Columbia Medical launch the Innova into the CRT manual wheelchair market (page 28), I see new TiLite and Convaid offerings, and I have to feel optimistic.
This article originally appeared in the September 2014 issue of Mobility Management.
Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.