U.S. Rehab & University of Pittsburgh Partner on Outcome Measures Study

computerOutcome measures are the gold standard in health care. Being able to objectively quantify the results of a certain intervention, whether that intervention is a drug or an individually configured, custom-fit complex rehab technology (CRT) wheelchair, can demonstrate that a healthcare team’s strategy is working — and that funding sources’ dollars are being well spent.

For the CRT industry, though, outcome measures have traditionally been difficult to produce. While there are plenty of patients with high blood pressure or high cholesterol for pharmaceutical companies to study, the nature of CRT makes gathering large amounts of data extremely challenging. The number of adults and children using CRT is minuscule compared to the general population of the United States, and those clients have such unique needs that comparing CRT users with similar backgrounds and circumstances is very difficult.

But recognizing the importance that outcome measures can have on the viability of CRT, U.S. Rehab, a division of The VGM Group, created the Functional Mobility Assessment (FMA) Outcomes program to gather data from consumers using CRT. The University of Pittsburgh has studied the data and will be publishing a research paper showing “that providers — with the help of the FMA outcomes tool — have been able to affect patient satisfaction and health benefits,” a VGM spokesperson told Mobility Management.

At press time, VGM expected the findings to be released in Q1 of 2018, and that the data will demonstrate “why it’s important for providers to participate in the FMA to show evidence that outcomes-based health care works to benefit the industry.”

Coming up in the April issue of Mobility Management, we’ll talk with U.S. Rehab President Greg Packer and University of Pittsburgh’s Mark Schmeler, Ph.D., OTR/L, ATP, about the FMA data, what it means for providers, and how CRT consumers could ultimately be impacted.

This article originally appeared in the March 2018 issue of Mobility Management.

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