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RTS, NRRTS, wheelchairs – revisited

Posted Jan 15 2010 2:35am

I admit it, I am not altogether happy with DMEDurable_medical_equipment and wheelchair vendors, companies, anyone affiliated with said organizations or the thought of trying to get a new chair. I also admit that, at times, I can be partial to a good argument. That said …

I recently posted about the National Registry of Rehabilitation Technology Suppliers and it was not pretty. In the comment trail, the president of said organization responded and our brief “discussion” quickly degraded and I temporarily stopped comments.

Being the kind of guy Single Dad is, I wrote to the Executive Director of the NRRTS and asked if he would like to respond to the issues. I promised him that I would share his reponse publicly, unedited, in context, and uncontested. Herewith is said response:

I can only imagine what it is like to be a single parent raising two children with significant disabilities. I am certain that the last barrier you need are problems with securing the things, i.e., wheelchairs, parts, etc. that they require. You mention that some of our NRRTS Registrants seem to vacate their ethical responsibilities when business decisions are involved. I don’t believe this is the case. That said, not selling you parts for cash makes little sense to me – but I don’t make the business decisions for our Registrants or the companies that employ them.

NRRTS has an avenue for you to address your concerns with the ethical behavior of individual NRRTS Registrants. We have a very well-defined procedure for receiving, reviewing and adjudicating complaints about the ethical and professional behavior of NRRTS Registrants. In the past we have suspended Registration privileges and in some cases barred individuals from NRRTS Registration for life. This is a significant action because in many states NRRTS Registration is one of the “ticket-to-work” credentials. Please understand that this is not a case of the fox guarding the hen house. Complaints are reviewed independently by members of the NRRTS Board and any individual named or involved in the complaint will not be a part of, or privy to, the review and deliberations. I have attached a copy of the form we need filled out to start the ethics review process. When you complete and return it I will personally shepherd it through the process.

Whether your situation is a direct result of funding and reimbursement issues or not, the climate that has created and fueled the problems you encountered has been brought on by ongoing efforts by Congress and by the States to solve their fiscal problems on the backs of people with significant physical and functional disabilities. Through funding cuts and draconian documentation requirements they have limited and in many cases denied access to much needed Complex Rehab Technology. Our industry and profession has been fighting this battle for years – with only small fleeting victories to show for our efforts. Each year we hold a legislative advocacy event in Washington, DC and visit the offices of our Members of Congress to lay out the problems and possible solutions. This year’s event, CELA 2010 – Continuing Education and Legislative Advocacy conference, focuses on consumer self-advocacy. We are providing scholarships for consumers and their families and care providers to join, alongside us, to champion the cause of appropriate access to these important technologies.

If you buy in to the idea that the root of the problems that you’ve encountered are a result of the climate created by legislative and regulatory action (or inaction); NRRTS invites you and your daughter to join us, travel and lodging paid by NRRTS, for CELA 2010, April 28-29, 2010 in Washington, DC. Here is the link to our scholarship application. I’ve also attached some information about CELA for your review.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Simon Margolis
Executive Director
National Registry of Rehabilitation Technology Suppliers
smargolis@nrrts.org

Here are the documents he attached …

CELA 2010 Brochure
NRRTS Ethics Rules and Procedures
NRRTS Complaint Form

Pearlsky is scheduled to get her new chair, again, on Monday. Stay tuned.


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