Recent Complex Rehab Technology Advocacy efforts

Traditionally, each fall Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) advocates fly in to Washington, D.C., to educate congressional lawmakers on CRT-related issues. This year, delegations from each state met with healthcare liaisons in a virtual format to discuss their biggest concerns. Each delegation is composed of CRT suppliers, manufacturers and end users.

The Colorado delegation outside Senator Michael Bennet’s office in 2019 (those were the days!)… due to Covid precautions, the 2021 event was held online.

Adequate access to CRT products and supporting services is critical to minimizing health care costs from medical complications and interventions. It is also needed to allow people with disabilities to maximize their independence.

The advocacy program is a collaborative effort between industry stakeholders associated with NCART (National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology) and NRRTS (National Registry of Rehabilitation Technology Suppliers), plus end users affiliated with the #UNITE4CRT project. A consortium of disability organizations also banded together and was represented in the delegations.

This year’s topics included:

• Urging state representatives to sign onto bills ensuring continued funding for CRT and highlighting the importance of funding for new technologies (standing systems, etc.).

• Encouraging the extension of funding for telehealth provided by physical and occupational therapists, which originally came about as a result of the Covid-19 public health emergency, and continues to work well — particularly in rural areas.

• Highlighting the need for federal financial assistance for CRT providers who are constrained by pre‐determined pricing structures that fail to factor in the new operating and cost realities of providing CRT and supplies (provision of Personal Protective Equipment for employees and customers, supply chain challenges, higher product costs, increased freight charges, etc.). Unfortunately, CRT providers do not have the ability to raise prices to cover the increased costs as they are subject to Medicare, Medicaid, and other third‐party payer fee schedules which are typically derived from Medicare rates.

By all accounts, the advocates’ messages were well-received but this is an on-going effort that could benefit from your awareness and input. Check out the resources below for more information.

Recent update (October 2021) from NCART

UNITE4CRT monthly conversation schedule

Educational webinars from CRT Awareness Day events

Mission accomplished!

Hope you were able to catch some of the Paralympic action. All of us at Ride developed a personal connection to the US Men’s Wheelchair Basketball team when Matt Scott (front and center) visited shortly before the Games, looking for a more optimal connection with his wheelchair.

While at Ride, Matt allowed us to film him speaking about his wheelchair basketball story and the importance of seating to his health and career as a professional athlete.

A five-time Paralympian, now a two-time gold medalist, Matt was also voted by Team USA to be the flag bearer at the closing ceremonies — well done!

Read an earlier post about Matt, here.

Quickly source Ride product brochures

In an effort to be more environmentally friendly, we are printing fewer brochures these days.

There is now a dedicated page on the Ride website for quick reference or to download brochures, here. One advantage: you’ll always be working with the most current information.

Please bookmark that web page for future reference — or use this QR code for access. And if you should need a hard copy of a brochure, just get in touch and we’ll be sure to get you one.

QR code for direct access to online Ride product brochures

Game on!

Matt Scott came to Ride Designs recently, looking for a more optimal connection with his basketball wheelchair, as he prepared for the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

An elite competitor, Matt has played wheelchair basketball on nearly every stage, from pick up ball with friends, to junior league, collegiate, US National team, then professionally abroad in a number of countries, plus at the Paralympic level. A chair that is not working at 100% efficiency means Matt isn’t able to achieve what he knows he can on the court. 

Matt’s old seating set up was big and bulky with lots of straps. He felt limited. The straps meant that he couldn’t carry the basketball in his lap and push with both hands. There was also extra give and flex in the bucket seating on his basketball chair — it no longer felt like an extension of himself on the court and didn’t respond to his movements the way he wanted.

Ride Designs listened to the challenges Matt was having with his chair and worked with him to figure out the best way to remedy each limitation. New, smaller straps were added that tightened the bucket closer to his body so that he could carry the ball more easily and keep it protected. The tighter-fitting solution also kept the bucket from flexing into the wheels on extreme turns, making the chair much more responsive. Seeking a second gold medal at your fifth Paralympic games, means that both the equipment and the athlete must be functioning at the highest level. 

Matt is currently using a Ride Custom 2 Cushion for his daily seating and is feeling more protected and comfortable than ever. The choice to switch his seating to Ride Designs was a reaction to a serious health scare. Matt hopes to encourage others to be more proactive about their seating and skin health so that they never have an experience similar to his.

Learn more about Matt…

Join us in cheering on Matt and Team USA at the Tokyo 2020 (2021) Paralympic Games!

Stay tuned to the Games:

  • Official Paralympic Games website, constantly being updated.
  • A detailed schedule of which event is happening when, here.
  • How/where to watch, even if you don’t have cable, here.
  • NBC’s Paralympic coverage schedule.

Follow Matt on instagram: @mattscott_fly

“The United States may be the birthplace of basketball, but to make a career out of playing wheelchair hoops, athletes have had to move overseas.” — Gwen Knapp, New York Times, writes about professional wheelchair basketball teams abroad here.

Exciting research from Italy

We’re not surprised that the Java Cushion continues to surpass expectations… Now research from a prospective observational study, done in Italy, helps demonstrate the Java Cushion’s ability to promote healing of stage I-II-III pressure injuries.

In a study of 15 subjects with SCI, all existing injuries closed and no new injuries occurred.

  • The Java Cushion was beneficial in the treatment of ischial pressure injuries.
  • “Maybe the (Java) cushion is therefore a valid alternative to the traditional communicating air-cell cushion.”

Read the abstract in the Italian Journal of Prevention, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Medicine (available in both english and italian).

Ride Java Cushion