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

Looking forward…

From Ride’s perspective, the Complex Rehab Industry appears to be recovering well, as we are seeing incoming orders at a rate consistent with previous years. There remains uncertainty about the ability for recovery to continue at the current pace in the coming months.  While we remain optimistic and committed to operating full-steam ahead, we encourage you to submit orders as soon as possible to ensure year-end delivery.

Thanks to all of you out in the field who are back at it — working with people whose lives often depend on getting appropriate seating and complex rehab technology.

Throughout 2020, Ride has been able to fulfill custom product orders within 12 days over 98% of the time. Recently 85% of custom orders have shipped within 8 days. 

We love getting messages like this one, from Dave Blaser of NuMotion:

“You guys got inputted one of my castings on the 20th and it’s freaking at my door already… that’s 10 days for a Custom Back!”

We expect the usual uptick in orders as folks try to deliver seating systems before year-end. So we’re encouraging everyone to get their orders in the pipeline as soon as possible, especially with so many unknowns due to COVID-19. You can count on Ride to do everything we can to get your orders filled as quickly as possible.

We thank you for your business. Work smart, be well, Ride on!

Just the Facts: Complex Rehab Technology (CRT)

For your reference in advocating for protecting access to equipment for all CRT users, this guide was developed by NRRTS and their CRT user coalition, Unite4CRT. Be sure to contact your member of Congress to ensure that they understand how important CRT is to the independence and health of wheelchair users. Tell your story to bring it home.

Fact Sheet Infographics

New representation in Canada

Canada Flag on textile

As many of you are aware, Stephen Bourne has been instrumental in launching, developing, growing and supporting Ride’s presence in Canada. We are grateful for his years of dedicated service and hard work. As business has grown across Canada, we now require full time sales representation in our largest market: Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area. Unfortunately, Stephen was unable to relocate so he will be leaving Ride Designs, effective January 1, 2019. We wish Stephen well with his future endeavors. 

As of January 1, 2019, Ride Designs will be represented by East West Medical Products, Ltd. Craig Royal will cover British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Maria Joannou will cover Toronto, Ontario, and east to the Atlantic Provinces.

Both Craig and Maria come to Ride with many years of experience in complex rehab technology and more specifically, custom seating. We are thrilled to have them on our team. We also have a robust plan in place to back up Craig and Maria with support from our deep field of highly experienced staff during and after this transition. 

These changes allow us to further our commitment to serving you better and be more responsive to your needs. 

Advocacy: It’s never been more important

Funding for complex rehab technology equipment in the US is in jeopardy. It’s important for lawmakers to understand just how critical this equipment is to preserve and enhance health and independence. ADA requirements may be loosened… certainly issues for everyone to be monitoring.

How to get up to speed? One website to get an overview of the issues is that of the National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology.

It’s all about educating those for whom disability issues are a foreign language about the importance of these issues to the disability community. Ride Designs team members were among those who went to Capitol Hill in late April to advocate for complex rehab technology. Earlier this year, we hosted Colorado Senator Michael Bennet at our facility for Small Business Week. The Senator, shown here discussing wheelchair seating with veteran Andrew Kinard, seems open to learning more about both our products and the issues they are meant to resolve.

michael_bennet.jpg

You don’t need to travel to Washington to be involved… check out these resources:

• An interesting podcast with panelists speaking about their advocacy efforts has been posted online by United on Wheels.

• The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, which focuses on spinal cord injury advocacy, urges “Lend your voice to our initiatives and you can make a real difference for people living with paralysis, as well as their families and caregivers.”

• Your member of congress is leaving, now what? Mobility Management outlines some ideas about how to how to keep CRT discussions going amid changes in D.C here.

• Visit “Protect My Mobility” regularly to get the latest updates on pending legislation.