Documenting medical need for custom seating… part two

The Ride Custom 2 Cushion is made specifically to match each individual’s unique shape to help decrease long-term skin risk and aid in sitting stability for improved functional performance.

In our last post, we discussed Medicare’s documentation requirements for custom wheelchair backs and cushions.  Here we continue the series…

Part Two

In the written therapy evaluation — why Ride Custom over prefabricated cushions and backs?

The beneficiary may present with: specific body measurements, significant postural deviations, contractures, pelvic tilt, obliquity, rotation, etc. that cannot be accommodated by a prefabricated cushion or back. 

These presentations should be well documented to demonstrate the reason a prefabricated cushion or back will not provide sufficient skin protection and/or postural support.  Documented trial and failure of lower level equipment is beneficial.

Example:  Jane Doe presents with a very pronounced anterior pelvic tilt, a left pelvic obliquity, a left lumbar convex scoliosis, a right convex thoracic scoliosis, a marked thoracic kyphosis, and a forward head. Her lower extremities assume a position of abduction. Her legs exhibit a leg length discrepancy with the right lower extremity being shorter than the left. 

There are no prefabricated wheelchair cushions that will accommodate these postural deviations to provide sufficient stability and pressure management. There are no prefabricated backs that will provide accurate contour to accommodate and support Jane’s posture. 

With lack of sufficient pelvic and trunk support, Jane is at risk for developing progressively more severe postural asymmetries as well as pressure injuries. In addition, a poorly fitting prefabricated seating system will severely limit Jane’s ability to independently perform mobility-related activities of daily living. 

A Ride Custom 2 Cushion and Ride Custom Back will be made specifically to match Jane’s complex shape, helping to decrease long-term skin risk and aiding in sitting stability for improved functional performance.

Continue reading, go to part three.

If you need assistance with documentation review for your Ride Custom Back and/or Cushion order, we can help, and at no cost to you!  Contact our Reimbursement Department at (866) 781-1633 x 312.


Documenting medical need for custom seating… part one

Ride Custom Cushion and Back made for a pediatric client.

Navigating the U.S. Medicare guidelines for documenting the medical need for custom seating can seem daunting.  We’ll break it down for you here.

Part One

To start, Medicare requires that a beneficiary needing custom seating is seen by a Physical or Occupational Therapist to evaluate the seating needs, in addition to a physician. The documentation generated by the physician and therapist will need to contain three primary pieces of information:

  1. The beneficiary meets Medicare’s coverage criteria for the wheelchair on which the seating will be installed.
  2. The beneficiary’s condition and diagnosis meet Medicare’s criteria for custom seating. Specifically:
    1. For custom backs – there are documented, significant postural asymmetries that are the result of a qualifying diagnosis.
    2. For custom cushions – there is a documented, current pressure ulcer or history of pressure ulcer on the lower back, sacrum, hip or buttock, OR documented absent/impaired sensation in these same areas, OR documented inability to perform a functional weight shift, as the result of a qualifying diagnosis.
  3. A statement clearly explaining why a prefabricated seating system will not sufficiently meet the medical need of the beneficiary. (This piece of information cannot come from the physician alone, it must be in the written therapy evaluation).

Continue reading, go to Part Two!

If you need assistance with documentation review for your Ride Custom Back and/or Cushion order, we can help, and at no cost to you.  Simply contact our Reimbursement Department at (866) 781-1633 x 312.

Rich Salm: director of sales and education

Rich Salm (center) at a recent show, flanked by team members Shelly Myers (left) and Joe Bieganek (right)

Ride Designs announces the promotion of Rich Salm, ATP, to the position of director of sales and education.

A long-time veteran of the Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) industry, Rich has made significant marks in many areas including CRT business ownership,  business development, contract negotiations, advocacy, NRRTS board membership… and the list goes on!

Rich joined the Ride team one year ago as sales manager, and quickly gained significant traction in forging fresh directions and improved sales support / performance throughout the organization. His initiatives and skills in education and support of international business development went far beyond his job description and earned him this promotion. Rich now oversees all sales and education functions within Ride Designs. Look for great things to come.

Congratulations, Rich — we loved your reaction to the surprise announcement! 



Precisely formed: Custom Backs

Ride Custom Back forming process

Ever wonder how the Ride Custom Back is made? Check out this video…

Hot, high-grade prosthetic plastic is vacuum-formed to a specific client’s back shape. The shell provides stability and is the outermost layer that hardware will mount to. Once the shell cools, Ride technicians will cut the back out and begin adding the materials necessary for breathability and comfort. It’s just one part of the process involved in delivering the best custom products available to wheelchair seating users.

Rocking a concert at Red Rocks

Is a concert at Red Rocks amphitheatre on your bucket list?

If not, maybe it should be… Red Rocks is an iconic concert venue in the foothills near Denver. With incredible views of the city and a massive natural red rock landscape, Red Rocks is famous for its star-studded concert roster, natural acoustics and incredible ambience. 


Helpful information to get you ready to attend a concert at Red Rocks 

The amphitheatre was completed in 1941 (well before any accessibility legislation) so navigating the venue, let alone a crowded concert there, has its challenges. Limited options exist for ticketed seating. The front row (1) and the last row (70) are the only areas reserved for accessible seating. When purchasing a ticket in those rows, you must verify that you need accessible seating. Note: A federal judge recently approved a set of rules to ensure that people who require accessible seating will soon get access to the first four rows of seats during Red Rocks shows.


There are a few designated places for parking with an appropriate placard. If your seats are at the top (back) of the venue, there is a small lot designated as accessible parking a few hours before the show. A walkway leads to the top landing where your seats are located. If you have a first row ticket, park in the Upper South lot and take an accessible shuttle that will drop you off near your seats. 


Beth Requist recently attended a show at Red Rocks and shared some of her experiences with us. 

What is one thing Red Rocks could do better at in order to make attending a concert easier? 

They should have some folding chairs available if people in your group would like to sit next to you. There is only a built in bench, so if you are in a chair, you are basically sitting in front of your friends….but if your friends like to dance like mine, they just stood next to me and it was totally fine. 


What was one thing you were impressed by?

If you are seated in the front row, you have a server to bring you drinks and food!

What concert did you see? 

I saw Odesza this summer — I try to go to one show a year. 

You sat in the front row, which seems more difficult to access.. did you encounter any challenges? 

The parking is super easy, with plenty of spots, and a driver waiting to take you to the top whenever you are ready. It was just a short push to the front row, pretty easy and smooth. 


What is one piece of advice you would give to someone using a wheelchair about attending a Red Rocks concert for the first time?

Don’t try to be a hero and push all the way from the bottom. It is far too steep. Park in the upper south lot and take the shuttle. 

Also, if there is a show you know you want to see, make sure you are on your computer right when tickets go on sale to snag the front row. Even do pre-sale if you can. Unfortunately, anyone can purchase row 1 and if you wait, the prices skyrocket. They are getting better at regulating this, but it’s not perfect yet. 

Beth wrote a blog post of her own outlining her experiences at Red Rocks. Make sure to take a look before planning your Red Rocks concert!


Besides a concert… other things to see and do at Red Rocks

You can also go to Red Rocks when there is not a concert going on. Admission is free to visit Red Rocks Park, Amphitheatre, Visitor Center, Trading Post and the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. The park offers hiking and biking trails and the amphitheatre is often used by yoga enthusiasts, stair-runners, and those just looking for a spectacular view. Hours vary seasonally. Check out this article for some ideas.

The visitor center at the top of the venue has a wealth of information and photographic history. Shop for some memorabilia to commemorate your visit at the Trading Post, where you can also see the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. The on-site Ship Rock Grille is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon taking in the views accompanied by great food. The outdoor patio overlooks the foothills and red boulders. If you are hoping to have a meal prior to a show, a reservation is necessary.

Please add any of your own Red Rocks stories / accessibility tips by leaving a comment below.