In the Fall of 2018, a survey was widely distributed through several list serves and numerous emails. The survey was created and distributed by Seating Dynamics with the goal of obtaining information regarding funding of Dynamic Seating components, without bias to any one manufacturer’s products. In this blog, we will summarize key results and the implications for Dynamic Seating provision.
Dynamic Seating is movement which occurs within the seat and/or wheelchair frame in response to force from the client. Dynamic components absorb force which in turn assists the client back to a starting position. Dynamic Seating is frequently used to prevent equipment breakage, prevent client injury, diffuse extensor tone, and provide movement. For people with cerebral palsy who use a wheelchair, Dynamic Seating is a great option for many reasons.
Toby is an ATP who works for Numotion in Connecticut. I’ve had the opportunity to work with Toby on a few occasions and I truly admire his amazing knowledge and experience. He works quite a bit with dynamic seating and I had an opportunity to talk with him about that recently.
Tamara Kittelson-Aldred, M.S., OTR/L, ATP/SMS is an Occupational Therapist in Montana who has been practicing for more than 40 years! She has been using Dynamic Seating with the clients she serves for 10 – 15 years now. Tamara and I talked about her experiences with Dynamic Seating, particularly with one of her clients, Amanda.
I recently presented a webinar on Dynamic Seating through AbleNet. One of the participants shared that he had successfully used Dynamic Seating with a client who routinely ‘destroyed’ seating and wheeled mobility equipment. Vincent Coratello is an Adapted Equipment Specialist and Minister of Fleet Operations at Allegheny Valley School in Hummelstown, PA. I asked him if we could get together for a phone call to discuss Dynamic Seating and he graciously agreed!
Is it possible to get funding for Dynamic Seating components through Medicare? What about funding for clients who are on both Medicare and State Medicaid? To get the answers, I contacted my friend Andria Pritchett, Executive Director of Clinical Education for Numotion.
Can a Dynamic Back be used with any type of seat? Does the movement allowed by this component limit what seating surface can be used? This is an important consideration. A seat or cushion is typically designed to support the pelvis and provide pressure distribution when the client is in a static position. Dynamic seating gets things moving!
Whenever I recommend complex rehab equipment for a client, I need to be aware of the cost of my recommendations. Why? One reason is that my documentation must often include why something less costly will not meet the client’s needs. I often hear from team members who are considering Dynamic Seating interventions but are concerned about the cost of these components and if the equipment is justified, as a result.
Dynamic Seating has many clinical benefits for wheelchair users and those benefits are our primary justification. From there, I do believe we can look at the cost-benefit analysis and find additional justifications.
Dale Thomas is a supplier with National Seating and Mobility in Lexington, Kentucky. He is fairly new to this field, but certainly not to complex rehab equipment, having a young son who has cerebral palsy and uses wheelchair seating and mobility. Dale is a big fan of Dynamic Seating and agreed to talk with me by phone recently.
Recently a therapist asked me how she could recommend Dynamic Seating components if she didn’t actually try these with a client. Great question! It is not typically realistic to conduct Dynamic Seating trials as one would need to place Dynamic Seating components on a client’s wheelchair for trial and often the frame would need to be modified to accept these components. A similar situation occurs with molding seating. Molded seating cannot truly be simulated without a shape capture and/or providing the fabricated molded seating system. Instead, clinical reasoning is used to determine that molded seating is indicated.