Tenn. law requires ATS/ATP only

Saturday, May 31, 2003

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee on April 28 became the first state in the country to legally institute quality standards for those rehab companies serving its Medicaid population.

Starting in 2004, rehab providers must employ at least one person who meets all of the requirements for membership in NRRTS, though that employee does not have to be a member of the organization. In 2007, every company must have on staff a professional who holds RESNA’s ATP or ATS credential, or is a PT/OT.

“I’m excited because this means that unscrupulous dealers no longer get to work in Tennessee,” said Darren Jernigan, director of government affairs at Permobil. “The government will save millions because they’ll no longer have to pay the costs that come from people landing in the wrong chair. And consumers won’t have to worry about the caliber of dealer that’s serving them.”

The new law does not apply to DME companies providing standard and manual wheelchairs. But it does mean that all providers of power mobility will have to meet an elevated set of standards this January.

For example, every power rehab dealer must employ one person with at least one year’s experience, who has three recommendations from licensed professionals and who has at least 15 hours of continuing education credits.

“If they don’t, the attorney general’s going to hear about it,” said Jernigan.

Although Georgia requires that its rehab providers be certified as an ATS/ATP or hold NRRTS membership, the policy is a Medicaid regulation, not law. HME