HME News

OCT 2018

HME News is the monthly business newspaper for home medical equipment providers. This controlled circulation publication reaches 17,100 home medical equipment services providers, including traditional HME dealers & suppliers, hospital- and pharmacy-o

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Mobility Briefs NRRTS holds elections LUBBOCK, Texas – NRRTS has announced the results of its 2018 board elections, in- cluding Gerry Dickerson as president-elect. Dickerson works for National Seating & Mobility and has been a NRRTS registrant since 1994. Katie Roberts, who works for Cimarron Medical Services and has been a registrant since 2007, has been named vice president; Mike Osborn, who works for Alliance Rehab and Medical Equipment and has been a registrant since 2000, has been named treasurer for a second term; and Carey Britton, who works for NSM and has been a registrant since 2002, has been named secretary. Directors at large are Bob Harry of AABON Home Health Care Supply, a registrant since 2008; and Toby Bergantino of NuMotion, a registrant since 1993. Doug Crana of Consolidated Medi- cal has been elected review chair, Region B; and Tom Simon of NuMotion has been appointed Review Chair, Region A. NSM distributes Obi NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobil- ity is partnering with Desin to distribute its Obi robotic eating device nationwide. The device, which fits within the size of a dinner placemat, features a robotic arm that can select food from four compartments and deliver it to the diner, so they can eat from a spoon, according to a press release. "The partnership with NSM is a game changer in our mission to make Obi more easily avail- able nationwide," said Jon Dekar, inventor and co-founder of Desin. Rehab Medical now covers 13 states INDIANAPOLIS – Rehab Medical now has a presence in 13 states and the complex rehab provider is eyeing a national foot- print, according to the Indiana Business Journal. The company hasn't decided how to accomplish that, though—organically or through acquisitions. Rehab Medical, which started as part of a larger company, Orbit Medical, provides complex power wheelchairs and mobility devices, as well as wound-therapy products, beds and some orthotics. In a rapidly consolidating market, Rehab Medical told the newspaper it differentiates itself from its competition with service, speed and compassion. Numotion buys regional provider BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Numotion has acquired the complex rehab and home access divi- sion of Total Respiratory & Rehab, extend- ing its reach in Nebraska, Iowa and Mis- souri. Total's 74 complex rehab and home access employees, including 17 ATPs, will join Numotion. "Numotion's infrastructure and technologies will ensure our custom- ers have the absolute best and most rapid customer service experience the industry has to offer," said Jon Novak, CEO of Total. Total, which has been in business for more than 12 years, will continue to provide re- spiratory services. ■ NSM has started distributing the Obi robotic eating device nationwide. See brief below. 18 h M e N ew S / O c TO be R 2018 / www.h M e N ew S .c OM PA program for mobility products spreads out . . . . . . . . . 1 Stakeholders tackle big problem: Lack of ATPs . . . . . . . 18 Q&A: Dickerson, new president-elect of NRRTS . . . . . . . 18 Survey: Access to accessories is crumbling . . . . . . . . . . 19 ATPs wanted: 'There's more urgency' President-elect seeks 'beauty in critical mass' reporter's notebook Stakeholders ponder how to raise awareness of profession, ease barriers to certification A tale of three ATPs VMI donates van Vantage Mobility International has provided an accessi- ble van to Ability360, a nonprofit organization that offers programs to empower people with disabilities. The van will be used to transport members and enable them to experience the most accessible sports and fitness center in the metro area, according to a press release. "Ability360 as an organization does so much for our community and reflects Vantage Mobility International's values and mission to always remember the challenges our customers face and our desire to improve their inde- pendence and access to the greater community," said Steve Morris, COO of VMI. By Liz Beau L ieu, e ditor YARMOUTH, Maine – It's become an age-old question in the com- plex rehab industry: How does it recruit more ATPs? But things went from a sim- mer to a boil recently when a survey conducted by the University of Pittsburgh and NCART showed that nearly 25% of ATPs could retire in the next five years, exacerbating an already tight market for certified professionals in wheeled seating and mobility. "It's not like this is a brand new issue," said Don Clayback, executive director of NCART. "There's been discussion around this for many years and some programs developed to help resolve it, but when you see the numbers, it quantifies the issue and there's more urgency." Right off the bat, stakeholders say they need to do a better job raising awareness that the ATP is even an option—and for a wide variety of people at that. "People don't even know that this profession exists—so many By Liz Beau L ieu, e ditor H e R e's H ow three ATPs came to the field and how they think more ATPs could be recruited. D O ug cR a N a At 63, Crana, C eo of Consoli- dated Medical in New York, considers himself one of the ATPs who will retire soon. " e ver since Medicare made it a requirement, it became neces- sary to do business. I have one ATP right now—me. w e used to have two ATPs, but I had to let him go due to downsizing when the bid program hit. w e hope to have two again soon. He came on as a rehab tech. His dad is a quad, so he grew up in it, which has made it easy for him to roll into the business. I'm helping to pay for any expenses with respect to any training he has to go through. "It's going to be a difficult task (to recruit more ATPs). w here I live, there is a thera- pist who teaches an assistive technology course at the com- By Liz Beau L ieu, e ditor NEW YORK – Gerry Dickerson has held nearly every other position on the NRRT s executive commit- tee, but in August, he was finally named president-elect. Here's what Dickerson, an ATP and CRT s who works for National s eating & Mobility, had to say about the challenges and oppor- tunities in the complex rehab industry. HME News: The story goes you've had a hand in complex rehab since you were a teenager . At 13, you were constantly tinkering with an uncle's Colson wheelchair, at one point adding pneumatic tires, which your uncle's therapist thought was really cool . At 14, you got your first job at Goodale munity college, but I find those to be few and far between." bO b h a RR y At 76, Harry, owner of AAB o N Home Healthcare s upply in Alabama, would retire tomor- row—if he could. "But people need me and there's no one else within 100 miles who does what I do. I'm also one of only three s M s s in the state, with the other two being PTs up in Birmingham, 180 miles away. "To bring some of these younger people into the field, rather than making them eat the whole envelope at the same time, maybe make them eat part of it. Very few of us are in the alternative controls business, yet 20% of the ATP exam is based on that. It would be nice if the certification was tied to being a specialist in this area or that area. "I got an ATP because I had to and I got an s M s because it was a challenge. I have a sign over my office door: You limit people get introduced to it acci- dentally," said w eesie w alker, executive director of NRRT s and an ATP/ s M s . "It doesn't really matter what your back- ground is. If you have techni- cal skills, you have the ability to enter this profession." w hile it's an option for a wide variety of people, there are eligibility requirements for the ATP e x a m t h a t can make it difficult to o b t a i n t h e certification, s t a k e h o l d - ers acknowl- edge. If you have only a high school degree, for example, you need 6,000 hours of experience. "I got an email from a NRRT s registrant just last week who was wondering how he could get that much experience," w alker said. "The person has to be willing to take a lesser pay- ing job to get the experience and their employer has to give them the opportunity to get that experience, and then they have to take the ATP exam. It can be a huge barrier." e ducation is a big part of NRRT s 's mission and w alker Prescription Pharmacy in Dover, N . J . , where you "just started fixing things . " You've literally been doing this nearly your entire life . Gerry Dick- erson: I've literally been doing this n e a r l y m y entire life. H M E : Why have you ded- icated your entire career to complex rehab? Dickerson: From 10,000 feet, when I ask myself why I keep doing this, it's because I like a good outcome. Regardless of all the nonsense you have to deal with, to see someone, especially Gerry Dickerson Weesie Walker R E C R U I T S e e n e x T p A g e AT P TA l e S S e e n e x T p A g e D I C K E R S O N S e e n e x T p A g e

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