On policy: Sometimes I wish that I could go back 10 years to the time before I fully understood how policies are set by funding sources. The more I’ve learned, the less I wish I knew. As funding sources limit benefits more and more based on what appears to be arbitrary reasons, the job of the clinician has become more and more difficult, and clients are not able to get the equipment they need. The publication of the many RESNA position papers and many other research articles has helped in this fight, but being such a young industry, we just do not have the research to fight some of the decisions. Hopefully, over the next 10 years we will catch up with some of the necessary research and improve access to equipment.
On Pediatrics: There have been a number of advancements in pediatric mobility products, including better power and manual wheelchairs, walkers and gait trainers. I still think that we need to improve mobility products for younger children. Between the RESNA position paper on the Application of Power Wheelchairs for Pediatric Users, to the more recent research by individuals like Cole Galloway, PT, Ph.D., the evidence for the importance of early mobility is gaining greater acceptance. I’m hoping that this will continue to improve with clinicians, families, and payor sources so we can maximize more children’s functional potentials.
Lauren Rosen, MPT, ATP, is program coordinator for the Motion Analysis Center, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital of Tampa.