It's Complex Rehab Technology Awareness Week 2023 and we're helping to celebrate the individuals who benefit from CRT, the manufacturers who provide CRT, and the clinicians who help individuals get the equipment and support they need.
In our latest blog, we highlight five things you need to know about CRT:
What is CRT?
CRT is a complex term that many medical professionals and wheelchair users may be familiar with - but may not fully understand.
CRT stands for 'Complex Rehab Technology' and while this primarily refers to equipment such as power wheelchairs, it comprises two interrelated components:
The clinical component of providing CRT
This involves qualified healthcare professionals performing physical and functional evaluations, devising treatment plans, setting goals, prescribing equipment and providing supporting medical necessity documentation.
The technology component of providing CRT
This component involves matching equipment to identified medical, physical and functional needs, customizing, assembling and configuring equipment.
The National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology defines CRT as:
Complex Rehab Technology Products include medically necessary, individually, configured, devices that require evaluation, configuration, fitting, adjustment or programming. These products and services are designed to meet the specific and unique medical, physical, and functional needs of an individual with a primary diagnosis resulting from a congenital disorder, progressive or degenerative, neuromuscular disease, or from certain types of injury or trauma.
CRT requires a collaborative approach
CRT requires a collaborative approach among various healthcare professionals including primary physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists and assistive technology specialists, as well as CRT suppliers such as NPL Home Medical.
This team of specialists is responsible not just for evaluating an individual's needs and recommending specific equipment but also for trialling products, navigating the complex insurance and appeals process, and instructing users on the correct use and maintenance of equipment.
CRT can dramatically improve quality of life
Complex Rehab Technology goes one step further than standard DME (Durable Medical Equipment) and is designed to match an individual's needs. This can have a profound clinical effect, for example, reducing pressure sores and preventing further injury; as well as social and lifestyle benefits including ensuring greater independence.
CRT can be challenging to achieve coverage for
As we mentioned previously, CRT often involves navigating complex insurance coverages and can often result in initial denials, requiring appeals.
In Ohio, there are multiple insurance coverage options for CRT including Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance.
At NPL Home Medical, we are familiar with the insurance procedures and criteria for coverage and are able to work with physical therapists and occupational therapists to ensure they are able to meet their patients' needs.
Advocacy is an important element of CRT
CRT Awareness Week is a reminder of the importance of advocating for access to these life-changing technologies. Many individuals with disabilities face barriers when it comes to obtaining appropriate CRT equipment due to insurance limitations and regulatory issues.
By raising awareness about the benefits of CRT, we can work towards ensuring that everyone who can benefit from CRT has equitable access to these vital tools.
CRT is much more than just technology and equipment: its goal is to empower individuals and improve their quality of life.
As we celebrate CRT Awareness Week, it's important to continue to spread the message about the power of CRT and highlight the manufacturers, clinicians and suppliers who make it possible.