RATC 'doesn't resonate with the public'

Monday, August 31, 2009

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -Goodbye, Rehab and Assistive Technology Council (RATC). Hello, Complex Rehab and Mobility Council (CRMC).AAHomecare's board of directors voted in July to change the name of the council to make it more approachable.

"Rehab and assistive technology doesn't mean anything to the outside world," said Tim Pederson, chairman of the CRMC and CEO of WestMed Rehab in Rapid City, S.D. "It doesn't resonate with the public like complex rehab and mobility does."

The change comes as the wheelchair industry works overtime to strengthen its relationships with consumer groups and lawmakers. Why? They need their help to preserve the first-month purchase option for power wheelchairs and create a separate benefit for the product category.

The new name also makes it clearer that the council represents providers of all wheelchairs: complex and standard, power and manual.

"It betters defines who we are and what we do," said John Letizia, vice-chairman of CRMC and president of Laurel Medical Supplies in Ebensburg, Pa. "It makes sense."

Additionally, Pederson said, half jokingly: "Any acronym with 'RAT' in it is not a good one."