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March 9, 2016

Now that I need a Power Wheelchair, why can’t I find a supplier?

At Spinlife we hear that question repeated every day, by frustrated insurance beneficiaries just like you, trying to locate a Power Wheelchair supplier.

There isn’t a simple, short answer but I will do my best to explain. Let me add, this information is not intended as a policy statement from Medicare. This is an informational blog post written in plain language to help our readers understand a complex issue.

America’s largest group of insurance beneficiaries are covered under the Federal governments Medicare Plan A and Plan B (Hospitalization and equipment). When coverage guidelines are set by Medicare, the other private insurance companies will follow suit, and change their guidelines to follow those set by Medicare.

For many years Medicare paid for power wheelchairs as Direct Purchases. In other words, if your Physician documented beyond a doubt that you needed a Power Wheelchair to complete your activities of daily living inside your home, they would purchase the chair for you from your local Medicare Provider. Moreover, they would purchase from the Power Wheelchair supplier the chair deemed most appropriate for your individual needs, as long as those needs were also documented medically. Your local Power Wheelchair provider was able to work with your physician to obtain the documentation required to prove medical necessity and supply your power wheelchair.Jazzy 600 ES Power Wheelchair Supplier SpinLife.com

The criterion to qualify changed periodically during those years, and medical necessity gradually became more difficult to substantiate. An unfortunate factor at work was that disreputable organizations were found to be “playing the system” or basically committing fraud against Medicare. Those organizations have thankfully been shut down, but in the aftermath of such activity, Medicare changed the method by which they would pay for Power Wheelchairs. Power Wheelchairs became “Capped Rental” items.

Changing power wheelchairs to Capped Rental items affected both the suppliers of the equipment and you, the beneficiary.  For basic (group 1) power wheelchairs, suppliers are required to bill Medicare and the beneficiary (their co-payment) monthly for 13 months to pay for the equipment.

It’s like a rent-to own arrangement.  During that time, the equipment still belongs to the supplier, not the beneficiary.  After the 13 months is up, they transfer the title to the beneficiary and the item belongs to you. Limited options or customizations are offered on those basic rental chairs, and there is no requirement that the rental chair is new, either.

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March 7, 2016

Down the sidewalk and beyond with a scooter

 

Get Outside With a Scooter.

Having a mobility issue shouldn’t steal away the things you enjoy in life. At SpinLife, we get that and we want to do all we can to help you continue to enjoy your life.

Victory 10 LX with CTSAs I sat at my computer contemplating this subject I took a phone call from a gentleman who wanted to get outside with a mobility scooter. He expressed to me that he just wanted to get out in his yard into his garden and spend time outside with his dogs. He can no longer walk but is not ready to give up his loves…the outdoors and his pets.

Whether you want to work in your flower bed or go down to the pond for a little fishing you should be able to do so in a safe manner! Fortunately, there are many full sized and all terrain scooters that were designed with those purposes in mind.

So, when would you want to consider a full size or all terrain scooter?

  1. If your weight exceeds the limitations for a smaller scooter.
  2. If you need to drive across the yard, gravel or other uneven terrain.
  3. If you travel longer distances.
  4. If you still like going out into nature or bounce around the farmland!

Full size scooters have a weight capacity of 300 lbs. or more. They normally have at least 10” wheels. Some have solid tires and some are pneumatic for a smoother ride. Many have suspension, full light packages and sleek styling. You will enjoy a longer drive range on the larger batteries. Continue Reading

March 5, 2016

Big Picture 2016 – Thank You.

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SpinLife would like to thank our vendors for your attendance at this year’s Big Picture expo & event, and for your continued support in 2016.

We look forward to an even bigger, better event next year! Stay tuned for dates & more info.

 

Thanks again to everyone for a great Big Picture 2016 and see you soon!

March 4, 2016

Big Picture Wrap-Up

What a great week! Whew! It was busy and crazy, but our annual Big Picture event was amazing.

The spirit and excitement in the air was contagious and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people with whom to spend so much time. Our team really is some of the best people I know. Yes, they are all trained professionals and colleagues, but they’re also people that anyone would want as a friend.

Our entire team met up at our home office for training and sharing. Our Product Specialists had time to share with each other experiences and advice. They also had time to share with our home office team their suggestions for improvements. The team brought so many ideas and we’re really excited to implement some great new tools that I know our customers will love. Our Web Application team will be very busy!

ichael and the new Afikim SE

Michael and the new Afikim SE

Product Specialists Meeting

Product Specialists Meeting

After three days of internal gatherings we welcomed our manufacturers on Saturday morning. All our favorite brands came, including Pride, Golden, Joerns, Roho, TiLite, Hill-Rom, Afikim and many more. They brought their newest products, as well as some bestselling favorites. Our Product Specialists got hands-on time to experience all the scooters, lifts and wheelchairs. They had great questions for each of the brands and really learned what makes each product unique and how they can help individuals choose the right product for their needs.

We even got sneak-peeks at new scooters, power chairs and lift chairs that haven’t even been introduced yet!  (more to come!)

While our Specialists were experiencing the products, our Service & Parts team was busy taking everything apart. It was really fun to see our Service team dismantle scooters and lift chair motors all over the place. They really do want to understand exactly how everything works so they in turn can help our customers.

It was a busy and fun weekend. SpinLife is the only HME retailer who does this and it keeps getting better every year.

Everyone left more energized and excited for the busy spring and summer months to come.

Thanks to everyone for a great weekend and see you soon!

March 2, 2016

Love your home, hate those steps?

A Stair lift is a wonderful solution for people with mobility issues who have trouble with steps. Stair lifts are designed to carry you up and down the stairs in a safe seated position, giving easy access to the second story or basement level of your home.

A stair lift can help keep your independence and more importantly allow you to stay in your home if  stairs become an obstacle. It is good to plan ahead and get a stair lift in place before getting up and down the stairs gets too difficult. Many serious injuries are caused each year by people falling down the steps, when a stair lift may have prevented the accident. The cost of a stair lift is far less expensive than moving or having a serious injury!

Stairlift L400_Lifestyle_10_20151029

Vantage Stairlift

The basic types of stair lifts that are sold today are:

straight or curved  / indoor or outdoor  / standard duty or  heavy duty  / battery powered or AC powered

Lets review each type individually. A straight stair lift is one that travels in a straight line up a flight of stairs uninterrupted by landings, bends or curves, and typically costs between $2000 and $5,000. Straight stair lifts can be installed by the home-owner or a contractor, but it is recommended that a professional stair lift contractor do the install, and some states require permits or licensed installers.

Curved stair lifts are much more elaborate and will go around corners, bends across landings and changes in direction. Curved lifts are also much more expensive typically running between $10,000 and $15,000 or more depending on the complexity of the installation. Curved stair lifts are complicated and precise installations and would have to be measured and installed by a professional.

Outdoor stair lifts can be straight or curved. Outdoor stair lifts are weatherproof and can be installed in any environment.

Heavy duty stair lifts can have weight capacities of up to 500 lbs, and heavy duty stair lifts are typically only for straight stairs only. The heavy duty models come with wider seats and heavier duty components.

You also have the option of choosing between an electric (AC) and a battery powered (DC) stair lift. Battery powered units charge automatically when they are not in use. They are quieter and smoother than electric lifts, and will work even if there’s a power failure in the home.

Stairlift Lifestyle_042_20151029

Harmar Straight Stair Lift

Stair lifts mount to the stairs, not to the wall, so they are very sturdy and can be installed in or outside almost any home or building, on wooden or cement stairs. Most stair lifts available today have folding seats, armrests and footplates that fold up out of the way to allow more room in the staircase and swivel seats that make getting on and off the lift easier. They also come with standard safety features like seatbelts, braking systems and footrest sensors that will stop the stairlift if there is an obstruction on the steps like clothing, a small pet, or if your foot would happen to slip off the footrest, the footrest safety would stop the lift. Push-button or rocker-switch controls are located on the armrest for easy operation, and “call / send” remote controls allow you to call or send the unit to the other end of the stairs.

Check out our selection of Stair lifts today!