Do you know what you need?
As the Funding Specialist for EasyStand, I am usually taking calls and reviewing Letters of Medical Necessity (LMN) about very specific standing devices. My most recent call reminded me of the importance of knowing what you really need and how to determine that need.
A very nice gentlemen named Bill called to ask me about a standing lift device, like on the EasyStand website. My first clue that something was amiss should have been when he said “lift”. However, EasyStand’s sit-to-stand standing devices often get called many different names, so I continued on with our conversation. After much discussion, I determined that what Bill was talking about in function and what he described as a need, was much more aligned to a standing patient lift, used to assist in transferring but not really meant for a long term weight bearing program. Yet, he also said he wanted a device to bear weight for range of motion issues and something that would assist in transfers. I asked if this device referral was from a physical therapist, occupational therapist, or physician. Bill answered no, he was researching his options on his own.
Assessments for Standing Devices or any Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) must be done in person with a trained clinician and cannot be performed over the phone. The clinician will make visual observations, take measurements, and discuss the patient’s specific concerns and goals. Using this information, they can recommend the type of device and any positioning options required for the patient. I strongly encouraged Bill to contact his physician and ask for a referral to a PT/OT seating clinic or therapy group familiar with standing devices for proper technology assessment to determine what will meet both his physical and functional goals for both transferring and weight bearing.
According to the National Coalition for Assistive & Rehab Technology (NCART) Standing Device Funding Guide, Clinically:
The evaluation process forms the foundation for the proper determination of the medical and functional necessity/benefits of a standing device, its configuration, and the details to be submitted to the funding source. The process typically involves a Rehab Team that, at a minimum, consists of the consumer, physician, therapist, and supplier.