Many disabilities require advanced medical products that offer features and options that go way beyond the standard wheelchair or walker. Certain injuries or diseases require special products categorized as complex rehab technology products that these individuals with disabilities require to live their everyday lives just to experience simple activities that we often take for granted. It is important that everyone understands these types of products, their impacts and how important it is to make sure those who depend on these products continue to have access to them.
What is CRT?
Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) products are mostly used by the people with a severe health condition and considerable disabilities. These products are considered important because they provide an opportunity to the disabled and people with other health complications to live their life on their own or as independent as possible.
Here is the exact definition of Complex Rehab Technology by NRRTS:
“Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) products and associated services include medically necessary, individually configured devices that require evaluation, configuration, fitting, adjustment or programming.” – See more information about CRT on the NRRTS website.
Above is a great video from a consumer’s stand point of the importance of CRT products
This is not a product that can be chosen by choice. It is a medical requirement and people, who are suffering from many health complications or disabilities find it impossible to perform their work or activities of daily living on their own. CRT products include such products as configured manual and power wheelchairs, standing devices, gait trainers, and other seating and positioning systems. This equipment is specifically designed for medical use so it requires fitting, adjustments, configuration, evaluation and programming to meet the different needs of different kinds of patients.
CRT products require a interdisciplinary team which includes a physician, occupational therapist or a physical therapist and a Rehab Technology Professional who work together to provide this equipment for the patient. The goal of the team is to provide both technology-related service and clinical services as well. And all the members work collectively to decide the treatment procedure and about the use of the CRT product.
Who can use these products?
As mentioned above, these products are specifically designed for those who are disabled who have specific and unique medical requirements. Some of the diseases that might require CRT products are given below.
- Anterior horn cell disease
- Post-Polio Syndrome
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Certain types of amputation
- Cerebellar degeneration
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Spina Bifida
- Progressive Muscular Atrophy
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
There are too many diseases and health complications to be listed. But in these conditions, one will require these products to be mobile, slow down progressive diseases and reduce the opportunity of secondary injuries and conditions due to positioning. The purpose of making these products is to enable the disabled people to perform their daily activities on their own and to minimize the dependency factor and these products also meet that purpose.
A Need For Your Support
Over the last 5 years or so, CRT products have experienced major declines in funding across the U.S. and there is a real concern that many patients who rely on these products may soon not have access to them. As more simple products such as walkers, standard wheelchairs, oxygen and more general durable medical equipment get a blanket cut in reimbursement from Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance, often CRT product suffer the same cuts as they are under the durable medical equipment funding umbrella. These products are “complex” and it often takes a lot of effort to educate policy makers and reimbursement sources to understand the full impact that CRT products has on the end consumer.
The National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology (NCART) is an organization that fights for the reimbursement of CRT products and it does every effort to make sure that people who have a disability or other health complication who are dependent on these products should come under the reimbursement policy of the private, state and federal government so that they will be able to take advantage of these technologies.
In order to achieve this end, NCART is working with all the responsible bodies such as equipment manufacturers, suppliers of complex rehab products, clinicians who recommend products for their patients as well as the end consumers of these products. The mission of the NCART is to establish and guard appropriate coverage, funding policies, coding and supplier standards.
NCART has asked for everyone’s help on fighting these cuts and you can get involved. They have set up a website to educate those involved in the industry as well as families and friends of those with disabilities that can get information on how to participate on the federal and state level to fight these changes. The best course of action is to contact your representative and this website gives you the tools you need to actively participate in reaching out to the appropriate parties. For more information, visit www.access2crt.com.
Keystone Mobility has been providing these complex rehab products for years for individuals in Pennsylvania. Our complex rehab team is very qualified in the entire process from evaluation of this equipment to delivery and maintenance of these advanced products and have worked very closely with many area therapists and other professionals to ensure that these consumer of CRT products have the best products available to live a very quality life. We have directly seen the impacts that these products can have on Pennsylvania residents with with disabilities and the lives of their families. We ask for your support in working with us in stopping the various funding cuts to these products by actively engaging with your representative and share with the info on the websites we posted above.