Mobility Management’s latest podcast examines two common frustrations in Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) provision: the long timeline to deliver a wheelchair or seating system, and the lengthy process to repair these medically necessary devices.
In Required Documentation and Payer Policies: New Equipment and Repair Orders, National Seating & Mobility’s Gerry Dickerson and Charles Sargeant discuss current documentation requirements, as well as potential alternative policies that could benefit all stakeholders.
“Many physicians are completely unaware of the documentation burden required to either get a repair or to get a new system prescribed,” said Dickerson, an ATP/CRTS and the president of NRRTS. “Many times what we get in the documentation is one line in a four-page chart note that states, ‘Patient here for paperwork to be filled out for a new wheelchair.’”
Dickerson discussed the huge volume of “shadow work” — the non-reimbursed, behind-the-scenes tasks of the paper chase — and its toll. “All of it is adding up to clinician and ATP burnout,” he said.
Sargeant, NSM’s Chief Revenue Cycle Officer who leads the provider’s Funding, Billing & Collections, and Payer Administration departments, agreed.
“These inefficient processes create extra strain on a healthcare system that is already costly,” he pointed out in the podcast. “By making paperwork more extensive than necessary, we add non-value work to not only the supplier, but also the physicians that are trying to provide care, and the therapists that are trying to provide care. The payers themselves are adding work to their own business, creating unnecessary administrative costs.”
As for the enormous amount of documentation often required for a repair to take place, Sargeant added, “The cost of repair is next to nothing, and the cost not to repair something swiftly is extensive to the clients that we serve.”
Said Dickerson, “We need to get the entire industry and the profession behind a systems change movement, and we can’t be afraid of promoting something that is right and will be impactful to the lives of consumers.”