Press Releases & Upcoming Events
2013 Walk for Children
Saturday we were proud to be part of WALK FOR CHILDREN event held by Next Door Foundation - Milwaukee
Such a great foundation, check them out.http://www.nextdoormil.org/NextDoor/News-Room/Walk-for-Children.htm
Next Door Foundation (Next Door)is an education and social service center, working with Milwaukee children and families to help build the educational and life skills they need to succeed.
Wheelchair Seat Measurement Guide
To help you make an informed decision on the right size of wheelchair for you, we have produced these guidelines on seat measurement.
Seat measurement is the most common measurement used to determine the correct size of wheelchair to order. The industry standards of wheelchair manufacture are 17”, 18”, 20″, 22″, and 24″ (inches) respectively.
To read full article please visit our blog article, http://blog.comfortcompany.com/blog/bid/282931/Wheelchair-Seat-Measurement-Guide
Quantum Rehab/Pride Mobility Partners with Comfort Company to Sell Manual Wheelchairs
Exeter, Pa. – May 14, 2013 – Quantum Rehab® and Pride Mobility Products® Corporation are pleased to announce an exclusive partnership with the Comfort Company. Beginning this month, the Comfort Company will sell Quantum and Pride’s manual wheelchair offerings, including the Stylus® LS, Litestream® XF, Litestream® Junior, and Kids UP® products, across the United States. “Quantum Rehab and Pride Mobility are excited to begin this new business venture with Comfort Company,” said Jay Brislin, MSPT, vice president, Quantum Rehab. “This partnership will allow Quantum/Pride and Comfort Company to capitalize on additional opportunities and improve relationships with therapists and ATPs across the country. It will also strengthen the support available to our providers and allow for increased collaboration on products and services offered.” Working as a team, Quantum and Pride field sales personnel and Comfort Company representatives will be able to deliver onsite support and additional resources for providers to help meet their customer’s daily needs. Quantum and Pride’s inside sales force will continue to process and facilitate Quantum and Pride orders, making this new partnership an uninterrupted transition for providers. “The strategic partnership between Quantum Rehab/Pride Mobility and Comfort Company is a perfect match,” said Evans Innes, vice president of new business development, Comfort Company. “This partnership will ensure that our customers will have access to a full line of industry-leading mobility and seating products. Given the ever-changing and growing needs of our industry, the coupling of the quality and unique strengths of our two companies will ultimately position us to better serve our customers now and in the future”
About Quantum Rehab/Pride Mobility Quantum Rehab®, a division of Pride Mobility, designs and manufactures high-end complex rehabilitation solutions such as power chairs and power positioning seating systems. Pride Mobility Products® Corporation is the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of mobility products including Jazzy® Power Chairs, Pride® Scooters, Pride® Lifts and Ramps, and Pride® Lift Chairs. The company, headquartered in Exeter, Pa., also has operations in Australia, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. For more information, please visit www.pridemobility.com and follow Quantum and Pride on Facebook at www.facebook.com/QuantumRehab and www.facebook.com/PrideMobilityProductsCorp.
Ryan Chalmer's Journey pushing across America in a wheelchair
It has been 1 month since Ryan Chalmers started his journey across America to raise awareness and give hope to people with disabilites as well as give back to STAY-FOCUSED. He began pushing in Los Angeles and will finish in New York City. Many are following Ryan on his amazing journey, we encourage you to do the same.
Alex Adams from Sports 'N Spokes writes,
“Ryan is doing amazingly well. He’s holding up well both physically and mentally,” says Roger Muller, president and founder of Stay-Focused, a nonprofit leadership organization for teens with disabilities.
Chalmers admits the first week was tough on his body, but says it’s adapting well. Typically around 20 miles into the day his shoulder will begin to cramp, but he says having his athletic trainer on the road with him helps.
He is no stranger to the athletic world. The Paralympian received the SPORTS ‘N SPOKES Junior Athlete of the Year Award in 2007, something he still considers an honor six years later.
“It’s a phenomenal group to be a part of, getting that award,” says Chalmers. He looks forward to the announcement of the next athlete to join the prestigious group when the 2013 Junior Athlete of the Year is chosen this July. SPORTS ‘N SPOKES is accepting nominations for young athletes up to age 18 until June 15, 2013. READ FULL ARTICLE.
Check out the past 3 weeks of Ryan's journey on YouTube.
All New Flexion Footbox™ - wheelchair foot care positioning
Yesterday we released the all new FLEXION FOOTBOX™. We are extremely excited for
FLEXION FOOTBOX™ to be part of our foot care product line. Here are a few details.
Single available in 4 sizes: 5”W, 6”W, 7”W, and 8”W.
Double available in 4 sizes: for 14”W, 16”W, 18”W, and 20” chairs.
Comes standard with Comfort-Tek cover.
CELA Conference Recap 2013
Last week I was privileged to represent Comfort Company at the National CRT Leadership and Advocacy Conference (CELA) jointly sponsored by NCART and NRRTS. The purpose of the conference is to bring together consumers, providers, suppliers and manufacturers of complex rehab products to discuss and advocate for the industry’s future.
The conference included discussions about the future of product development given the current economic climate, current and potential regulatory challenges, reimbursement issues and how the changing demographic picture will affect the industry. The panelists in these discussions provided some very useful insights and fostered some very spirited conversation amongst the attendees.
The main purpose of this conference is to educate and advocate on behalf of the industry a separate benefit category from durable medical equipment. This separate category would be much the same as the separate benefit category for prosthetics, orthotics and supplies that was created several years ago. This recognition of Complex Rehab Technology would help the industry maintain a quality product provided by accredited providers while further helping to protect Medicare/Medicaid from fraudulent activities in the market.
The final session of the conference involved all of the attendees converging on Capitol Hill to advocate on behalf of the industry with their legislators. I was able to attend with Mary O’Connell, a physical therapist from Missoula, Montana. We had meetings with representatives from Representative Steve Daines (R. MT) and Senator Jon Tester(D. MT) as well as a very productive meeting with Senator Max Baucus (D. MT), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
While we were in Washington D.C., it was announced that Senator Charles Schumer (D. NY) would be introducing a companion bill in the Senate to H.R. 942, introduced in the House by Representative Joe Crowley (D. NY) and Representative Jim Sensenbrenner(R. WI). This announcement signals a major step forward for the separate benefit recognition as it is the first time a house bill has had a companion bill introduced into the Senate.
Now it is time for the important work. It is up to us as industry professionals and users of complex rehab technologies to make sure our representatives continue to support this effort. Please take the time to contact your Representatives and Senators and make sure they understand the importance of this effort. The fact that there is a bill in both the Senate and the House means for the first time, this effort has a legitimate chance for success. The thing that is missing is your voice, please be heard.
If you have any questions or need additional information on H.R. 942 please send me an email at email@example.com.
Big Sky Homecare Alliance Launch Event Results In Significant Commitments to Action to Protect People Who Rely On Homecare Services and Medical Equipment
Homecare Workers, Durable Medical Equipment Manufacturers and Distributors
Have a “Moral Obligation to Do What is Necessary
To Protect Montanans and Families Who Rely on Homecare”
MONTANA- The Big Sky Homecare Alliance formally launched this week, with significant calls to action from the leaders the Alliance, including the Service Employees International Union 775 NW (SEIU) and Big Sky Association of Medical Equipment Suppliers (AMES).
With congressional staff members participating from the offices of U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.), the leadership of the Big Sky Homecare Alliance shared concerns and real-life stories regarding the challenges facing homecare workers, medical equipment providers and families who live in urban and rural communities throughout Montana.
At the event, the leadership of the Big Sky Homecare Alliance dedicated itself to continue to fulfill a moral obligation to do what is necessary and important to protect the people and families of Montana -- urban and rural -- from unintended consequences of programs like so-called "competitive bidding" in Medicare and Medicaid.
Two Montana homecare workers, Anna Volkersz and Wendy Gohman, shared personal stories about the importance of having the resources, technology and time to provide the care that their homecare patients require. The leader of the SEIU 775 NW, Jacquie Helt, expressed concern that having more than 2/3 of the homecare workers in Montana living below the poverty level is not a sustainable plan for Montana.
Montana medical equipment manufacturers and equipment suppliers expressed a great deal of concern that rural communities are already suffering and are at great risk. And yet, officials of Medicaid and Medicare officials seem to be blind to the consequences of their pushing forward with programs that are putting Montana's most vulnerable citizens at risk, especially more mature citizens.
Board Members of Big Sky AMES, and the other members of the Big Sky Homecare Alliance committed themselves to working to help pass legislation that will cease and replace so called "competitive bidding" with a common sense solution that protects the interests of taxpayers.
Big Sky Homecare Alliance Panel Participants:
Jacquie Helt State Director of SEIU 775NW Healthcare
Torger Sikveland Government and Industry Affairs, The Comfort Company
Dan Harrington Owner/President of Harrington Surgical Supply
Lorie Lacher Benefis Spectrum Medical
Helen Edwards Owner/President of Dillon Medical
Anna Volkersz SEIU 77NW Member and Homecare Worker
Wendy Gohman SEIU 77NW Member and Homecare Worker
John Gallagher Big Sky AMES, Board Member
The Big Sky Homecare Alliance is partnership of Big Sky AMES, the SEIU of Montana and Idaho and others dedicated to supporting common sense decisions in Washington, D.C. so we can have sustainable, affordable homecare in Montana. Learn more at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Big-Sky-Homecare-Alliance or contact Lindsay Bennett @406.442.3101 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
4-10-13 - National Call-in Day for Complex Rehab Technology
This week NRRTS and NCART are sponsoring a legislative fly-in to Washington D.C. to support an effort to get a separate benefit category for complex rehab technologies. The purpose of this separate benefit is to further recognize the difference between products like the Vicar line of products from routine DME like general use cushions. This separation would hopefully further insulate higher end rehab technologies from the industry killing reimbursement cuts that are currently taking place. As a lead up to the event we are asking for you to call into your representatives and senators to voice support for this measure. Your call will help to make sure that when an on-site participant arrives at the representative’s office, it won’t be the first time that representative has heard the message. Key points of the legislation is the differentiation of Complex Rehab Technologies from routinely purchased DME like general use cushions or standard wheelchairs. Separating the CRT will help protect access, thus guaranteeing that those who need high end rehab products will continue to be able to do so. Our legislators need to hear that not all DME is the same and therefore separating out CRT as was done for Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies previously is the right step to take. A separate benefit is not asking for additional spending, it is money that is being spent anyway, it is just giving proper recognition to a class of products in order to preserve its availability down the road should further budget cuts be necessary. Please take the time to call your Representative Monday or Tuesday and voice your support for H.R. 942 and let your Senator know that you would appreciate their support of a similar measure in the Senate. Below is additional information and a link to help you get contact information for your Congressman or Senator. Thank you for your support,
April 10, 2013 - National Call-in Day for Complex Rehab Technology
Do you want to make a difference?
Join with thousands of other concerned citizens to help ensure access for people with disabilities to the Complex Rehab Technology they require.
Mark the date - April 10, 2013 - call your Members of Congress!
Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 225-3121. Ask for your Senators' and Representative's Office.
Don't know your Senators' or Representative's name? Click here and enter your Zip Code to find it.
Tell your clients, patients, family, friends, colleagues, and workmates.
Tell anyone else you know who might feel that Americans with disabilities need access to the technology that improves their function, health and enhances the quality of their lives.
Tell them that, for this initiative to be successful, each of them needs to call their Members of Congress on April 10.
Tell them to ask their Members of Congress to support Bill H.R. 942 to establish a Separate Benefit Category for Complex Rehab Technology under Medicare .
Call your Members of Congress on April 10, 2013.Tell them to sign on as a co-sponsor of Bill H.R. 942 to create a Separate Benefit Category for Complex Rehab Technology under Medicare. Tell your Senators to introduce and support a companion Bill in the Senate.
For additional information about Complex Rehab Technology and the Separate Benefit Category initiative please go to www.access2crt.org.
Congressmen Joe Crowley (D-NY) and Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) have introduced H.R. 942, the "Ensuring Access to Quality Complex Rehabilitation Technology Act of 2013" to create a Separate Benefit Category for Complex Rehab Technology to protect and improve access to these important products and services for people with significant functional and physical limitations. CRT includes specialized manual and power wheelchairs, seating and positioning devices and other adaptive equipment.
We are asking Congress to create a separate CRT benefit category under the Medicare program and make other needed changes. This would include the elimination of Medicare's “In the Home” restriction for CRT products. Our objective is to improve access for people with disabilities of all ages, whether covered by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance
More Diagnosis Now Accepted for Skin Protection Wheelchair Cushions
We are pleased to hear more diagnosis are being accepted for skin protection cushions. Comfort Company wheelchair cushions include: Ascent, TruForm and Hyalite®. Read below for more details.
Revision Effective Date: 05/01/2013
COVERAGE INDICATIONS, LIMITATIONS AND/OR MEDICAL NECESSITY:
Added: Arthrogryposis, osteogenesis imperfecta, spinocerebellar disease and transverse myelitis to the list of covered conditions for skin protection seat cushions
Changed: Word "Patient" to "Beneficiary"
ICD-9 CODES THAT SUPPORT MEDICAL NECESSITY:
Added: 323.82, 334.0-334.9, 728.3, 754.89, 756.51 to HCPCS codes set E2603, E2604, E2622, E2623
(Note: The effective date above is not applicable to this section. These revised and added requirements are existing Medicare requirements which are now included in the LCD for easy reference)
Added: Standard language
Revision Effective Date: 05/01/2013
Changed: Word "Patient" to "Beneficiary"
Added: Adjustable seat narrative incorporated from "Change to Wheelchair Cushion HCPCS Codes" originally published 12/14/2004 and reposted by the PDAC August, 2008
Note: The information contained in this article is only a summary of revisions to LCDs and Policy Articles. For complete information on any topic, you must review the LCD and/or Policy Article.
Call to Action!
Let everyone know that they have the power to be agents of change.
Call to Action!
Times are tough! We're all facing seemingly insurmountable challenges. Access to appropriate CRT - Complex Rehab Technology for consumers is threatened. Coverage policies no longer reflect the needs of the people who use CRT. Seating clinics are closing. Funding is decreasing while documentation requirements increase. The Separate Benefit Category for CRT under Medicare, House of Representatives' Bill H.R. 942, is the best solution to most of these problems we face. For more information visit www.access2crt.org.
Consumers, suppliers, clinicians and manufacturers – we’re all in the same boat as members of the Complex Rehab Technology community. We all have the potential to change the future of CRT by acting now!
TWO THINGS YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW:
Go to http://nrrts.org/petition and sign the petition to urge your Members of Congress to support H.R. 942
Go to http://nrrts.org/email_congress and send e-mail message to you Member of Congress in support of H.R. 942
WITH VERY LITTLE EXTRA EFFORT YOU CAN MAKE AN EVEN LARGER IMPACT!
Help everyone know that they can make a difference. Give them each a Call to Action card. Ask them to follow the two simple steps to contact their Members of Congress.
If you’re a consumer – give one to each of your family members, friends and acquaintances.
If you’re a clinician – give one to each of your colleagues and clients
If you’re a supplier – give one to each of the consumers you serve and to each of your referral sources
If you’re a manufacturers’ rep. – give one to each customer you call on and distribute them during your in-services
If you’re an educator – give one to each of your students and participants in your educational programs.
BE CREATIVE! Give a Call to Action card to everyone and anyone you know who might be willing to help us realize our goal of continued access to Complex Rehab Technology for people with disabilities.
To order Call to Action cards, at no charge to you,
go to http://www.nrrts.org/call_for_action_cards.
If you have questions or desire additional information e-mail email@example.com.
7 Steps to Prepare for Competitive Bidding
6 things to know about a ramp
Things to keep in mind BEFORE you purchase a wheelchair ramp.
A MUST read for all caregivers, wheelchair users and dealers. A PVI specialist explains what to look for before purchasing a wheelchair ramp and why.
Recap: ISS 2013
What a success.
What a success ISS 2013 in Nashville was this past week. Thank you to everyone who took the time to stop by and say hello and check out our new products. We are very excited for the upcoming shows this year has to bring us. Look forward to seeing you all again!
Click here to see our photo recap!
No longer a patient care fight, it's a political fight.
Competitive bidding was authorized by the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003. The intent of this program is to reduce the cost to Medicare and its beneficiaries for inexpensive and routinely purchased durable medical equipment and other related home health items. This is to be accomplished by having suppliers “bid” for the right to supply these items in the designated “competitively bid areas”. The single payment amount would be calculated by designating the mean bid from the accepted bidders as the payment amount, thus saving money for the program and its beneficiaries. There are several flaws in this logic; using the mean as the payment amount means, one half of the winning bidders will be asked to supply goods and services at a rate less than their bid indicated they would be able to meet. Secondly, an established small businessman supplier in the CBA who does not bid low enough to “win” a bid in his home area; effectively sees up to 50% of his current customers unable to do business with him by government fiat. While the competitive bidding program will not be fully implemented in rural areas of more populated states and rural states, the secretary of Health and Human Services is required by this legislation to introduce some configuration of these bid rates to all reimbursements under Medicare. Our industry is working hard to make sure that the goals of the MMA are met, cost savings to Medicare and beneficiaries, while protecting the jobs and businesses of those who provide these services. That is why the Market Pricing Program (MPP) was introduced in the last session of Congress. While the original bill has expired; Rep. Tom Price has indicated he will be introducing to this new session similar legislation to replace Competitive Bidding with the industry supported Market Pricing Program. MPP fixes the biggest flaws by setting payment amounts in the bid areas at the level of the ”clearing bid”, or the bid level at which the last accepted bidder offered to supply service. It also removes the exclusionary element by allowing any willing provider to continue to supply Medicare beneficiaries with goods and services at the designated payment amount in most of the bid categories. As an industry we feel this is a much fairer way to achieve the stated goals of the Medicare Modernization Act, which is to decrease costs while protecting beneficiary interests. So what do we as industry professionals do? Educate. We need to make contact with our customers, friends and neighbors. I know many of us are uncomfortable in the political environment, but unfortunately this is no longer a patient care fight, it is a political fight. Who suffers if we lose this political fight? It will be our customers who lose. We need to educate our federal legislators, state legislators, local legislators and our customers what the impact of competitive bidding will be, how the Market Pricing Program fixes these problems for both Medicare and Medicare beneficiaries. Why do we need to educate our state and local officials about these programs? Because your local officials represent a coalition of constituents to your federal officials. If you can gain the support of your mayor, it is somewhat like having the whole community speaking on your behalf to your congressman and that carries more weight than just a single individual. So schedule a meeting with your mayor or city councilperson, have them come by your place of business and discuss MPP and how it will allow you to continue serving their constituents, your customers.
Torger Sikveland, Comfort Company
Government and Industry Affairs
Introducing the all new Acta-Contour™ Back
What your Senator doesn't know about Competitive Bidding
POWER MOBILITY - Where do we go from here?
Not sure where to go from here since national competitive bidding's just announced round 2 payment amounts? Take advantage of this wonderful webinar hosted by Mobility Management created especially for providers and clinicians who specialize in power mobility devices.
What You’ll Learn:
For more information and to register visit Mobility Management.
Comfort Company Sales Force Update
Dear Valued Customer,
Please be advised that effective immediately Comfort Company will no longer be acting as a strategic partner with PDG Mobility. For PDG related questions, please contact PDG Customer Service directly at 888-858-4422. All other questions regarding Comfort Company products should be directed to your local Territory Manager or our Customer Service department at 800-564-9248.
VP of Sales
Comfort Company joins VGM
The Comfort Company is excited to announce that we have recently joined VGM Group, Inc. as a vendor, effective October 1st, 2012. VGM Group, Inc. is the nation’s largest, most comprehensive Member Service Organization for independent HME, rehab and O&P providers. The Comfort Company's participation in VGM's programs will provide us with more secure business relationships, better leadership, cutting edge industry knowledge, new business solutions and more opportunities for diversification. With this membership, we are joining over 150 of the most caring providers in the industry that each deliver quality products and top-notch services. With over 3,000 members in more than 8,000 locations, VGM helps us to do what we do best, take care of valued customers, like you. If you would like to add your VGM discount to your Comfort Company account, please notify us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to include your Comfort Company account number as well as your VGM membership number to start receiving your discounts and benefits immediately.
An awesome new website has recently popped up that was designed to support the initiative to create a separate benefit category for complex rehab technology (CRT) within the Medicare system. This website easily explains house bill H.R. 4378 in laymen's terms, so you know exactly what it is all about and why it is so necessary for our industry and more importantly, the people who rely on this technology to get them through their everyday lives. It is called the "Ensuring Access to Quality Complex Rehabilitation Technology Act of 2012". This site not only delves into each aspect of the bill, but provides interactive resources to help join the movement. It is the site to visit in order to sign the e-petition in support of the bill, and you can also use it to write a personalized email to your congressman, asking them to support the bill! This page is very efficient, ergonomic and could be VERY effective. All you have to do is click the link below to become more educated and to make your voice be heard. Take a few moments of your day to help us protect CRT!
Partnership between Comfort Company and PVI announced
The Comfort Company is proud to announce they have partnered with Prairie View Industries (PVI) to maximize their quality driven product offering to providers nationwide. The Comfort Company will offer the complete PVI line of access products, which will be offered through its (Comfort Company) direct sales force. The addition of PVI provides Comfort Company with strategic partnership that will complement their current line of wheelchair accessories and PDG Wheelchairs. It also gives providers another opportunity to build their cash sale programs through Comfort Company's complimentary product offering analysis. With an ever-changing industry, it is very important that providers find ways to diversify their business to continue to succeed. PVI's access products are a highly sought after source for such diversification.
Established in 1987, The Comfort Company is a respected manufacturer of quality seating solutions for wheelchair users around the world.
Established in 1991, Prairie View Industries is the leading manufacturer of safe, reliable, and durable access products. With a patented "no-pinch" hinge, a limited lifetime warranty, and the only UL® listed access ramps on the market, PVI stands alone when it comes to safe accessibility.
For more information please visit http://www.comfortcompany.com/PVI
The Comfort Company Announces Specialized Division for Custom Seating
The Comfort Company is pleased to announce the addition of a new division devoted exclusively to custom seating. Launched June 1, 2012, Comfort Designs, as it is called, was formulated to change how our industry looks at custom seating. Years of design, product development and product testing have produced a complete custom seating line that is unlike any other.
Comfort Designs has been formulated to handle a very important, growing market within complex rehab. A typical custom order may allude to specific product that meets a specific need at that time but does not leave flexibility or room for adjustment. With The Comfort Company's advent of Comfort Designs, seating professionals will be able to meet the needs of a difficult client but also be able to have some flexibility to adjust and/or grow products as inevitable changes occur.
"Our Custom Seating Division seeks to bridge the gap between multi-use functionality and specific needs," said Director of Product Development Steven Dufresne, "What we have is the ability to customize our existing products while maintaining the functionality of an adjustable cushion or backrest. Ultimately, this allows the seating professional to fine-tune the seating system to the furthest possible degree."
By "creating a new way of doing old business," The Comfort Company has re-set expectations for old standards in mitigating custom ordering methods of the past. This once seemingly archaic and cumbersome process has been streamlined and dubbed extremely "user friendly" for both ease of access and speedy end results from the time of order placement through delivery. The new platform is ready for order as of June 1st. For more information please call 1-800-564-9248 or click here to find your local representative.
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