Packer Perspective: ISS and Beyond

U.S. Rehab had the pleasure of attending and exhibiting at the 33rd International Seating Symposium (ISS) at the beginning of this month. I always look forward to this show because it is by far the biggest show for rehab providers, and it is in the United States only every other year.

The show attracted 2,400 attendees, which about 400 registered on site. Over 100 exhibitors showcased the latest and greatest technologies in the marketplace. If you are in CRT, you should make it a point to attend ISS in the future. Thank you to those who were able to attend. I’m sure you would agree with me that ISS is the premier conference for our industry.

The opening session and many other sessions revolved around the topic of big data. What big data is currently out there, what’s being done with it and where we are still missing data. One of the keynote speakers, Jane Fontein, read a speech she gave in 1994 about how our industry needs to start collecting outcomes and that the process is not difficult or threatening. Her message is still relevant today. While we have made some progress, we still need to continue to collect outcomes data. Back in 1994, her speech actually inspired Dr. Mark Schemler to reach out to her and to get involved in developing an outcomes tool for our industry. As you know, Dr. Schmeler created the Functional Mobility Assessment (FMA), which is available for all of our members to use.

If you are not using the FMA, please reach out to us to get started. The need for big data to solidify our place in the industry will not go away. Big data will help us make the case to CMS that reimbursement rates for CRT should not continue to be cut.

While at ISS, I had the honor of receiving an award from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology (RST) for advocacy and work with providers. I am very humbled for being recognized and realize I could not have accomplished everything that we have without the help of the entire VGM and U.S. Rehab team and the support from our membership base and our member manufacturers. More information on the award can be found here.

The next major event on our radar is the National CRT Leadership & Advocacy Conference hosted by NCART and NRRTS, April 26-27. This conference will focus on education, advocacy and networking with other CRT providers, manufacturers, clinicians, consumers and other stakeholders in the industry. The two-day conference ends with a Capitol Hill Day where we have the opportunity to visit with Congressional representatives on our issues, the Separate Benefit Category and the application of competitive bid pricing to CRT accessories. If you are not a member of NCART or NRRTS, I strongly encourage you to join as these are two of the strongest organizations for CRT in our industry. I hope to see you in D.C.!

Greg Packer, President, U.S. Rehab