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Rehab Medical re-envisions repairs

Rehab Medical re-envisions repairs

Jarrad RankinINDIANAPOLIS – Rehab Medical’s new Express Service Center is on a mission to turn around wheelchair repairs in five days. 

“We want to set the standard for how patients should be serviced,” said Jarrad Rankin, vice president of operations for the company. “I've been in this industry 18 years and the model hasn't changed, but everything else around us is changing and there's a lot of technology out there. So, we're trying to use a combination of imagination and vision, technology and a sense of urgency to hopefully change the and provide the ultimate patient experience.” 

Elements of the service center include prioritizing service; allocating additional resources, such as staff and a dedicated location; and embracing a concierge-level care concept. 

The overarching focus is minimizing patient effort by leveraging outbound communication for updates, scheduling, and follow-ups, says Rankin. 

“If a patient calls us, we don't want them to have to call us back,” he said. “All the calls are outgoing, meaning we're calling them to give them an update, schedule an appointment, or do a follow up. They don't have to pick up the phone and reach out to us or ever wonder what's going on. That's what we're trying to do." 

Pre-pandemic, Rankin says service parts were relatively abundant, so much so that some providers were able to rely on surplus inventories for up to a year. At the height of the pandemic, wheelchair users faced potential delays of up to two weeks due to supply chain issues. 

“The only places we're still seeing some hiccups is when it comes to electronics,” he said, “particularly joysticks.” 

One thing Medicare could do to help providers close the service gap is to develop an incentive program based on how well they take care of patients, says Rankin. 

“Everybody gets the same amount, no matter how good you are, right now,” he said. “And I think that could be looked at, where if you provide that extra value, maybe there's a little extra.”


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