UPitt receives $4.5 million for wheelchair study

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center will lead a five-year, multi-site project studying wheelchair users with spinal cord injuries. Wheelchair users are discharged from the hospital without enough education, researchers say. The study will examine one possible solution: Internet-based training and group sessions to hone the skills of wheelchair users and prevent wheelchair failures.

NRRTS board hits the Hill 

WALSENBURG, Colo. – The NRRTS board of directors moved its annual retreat to Washington, D.C., this fall and spent part of the Sept. 11-13 event lobbying for the industry. “The board felt like we spent a lot of money on the retreat, which is a great activity for planning for the year, but we felt that a trip to Capitol Hill would be a much better use of the money,” said Simon Margolis, NRRTS executive director. Board members talked up H.R. 4378, a bill that would create a separate benefit for complex rehab, as well as other industry issues.

Provider launches new e-commerce website

AUBURNDALE, Fla. – Provider Butch Vanderpool unveiled a new e-commerce website, homedequip.com, in August to offer wheelchairs, scooters and other home medical equipment. The site will work with Vanderpool’s other site, www.mobilityspecialists.net, which provides information about HME and helps with reimbursement confusion. Vanderpool says the new site will reach customers Mobility Specialists wouldn’t normally be able to. “It is our extension to a world that needs assistance by knowledgeable people who actually care,” stated Vanderpool in a press release. 

Woman convicted of Medicare fraud

NEW ORLEANS – A federal jury convicted Sandra Parkman Thompson, 57, of New Orleans, of being part of a group of people who submitted $1 million in medically unnecessary power wheelchairs and other equipment. Thompson procured names and personal information of Medicare beneficiaries as part fo the scheme, according to U.S. Attorney Donald Cazayoux. She faces a maximum sentence of 135 years in prison, fines of $3.5 million, and forfeiture of all proceeds of the healthcare scheme to defraud.

Short takes

AllMobilityScooters.com announced in August the launch of Allmobility Advocate, a blog written by and for scooter users… NRRTS cut the price of Mark Sullivan’s  “Complex,” a book that outlines, through case studies and photos, the benefits of complex rehab. “Complex” is now available for $5 at www.nrrts.org.