Friday, May 11, 2012

Study Shows Wheelchairs Breaking Down More Often

According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, more frequent wheelchair breakdowns are causing people with spinal cord injuries to be left stranded causing health and safety concerns. Researchers have found that Medicare and Medicaid may be partially to blame.

Researchers found more than half (53% between 2006-2011) of the 700 surveyed wheelchair users had their wheelchair breakdown within six months with power wheelchairs accounting for roughly two-thirds of all breakdowns. This was an increase from 45% between 2004 and 2006 with the number of adverse consequences, as a result, rising from 22% to 30.5%.

Researchers suggest that this may be due to a decrease in the quality of wheelchairs used by individuals due to changes in reimbursement and a lack of enforcing standards testing of wheelchairs. Coinciding with that hypothesis is the fact that wheelchairs paid by Medicare of Medicaid broke down more often than those paid by private insurance or the Veterans Administration.

To read more about this, check out the following link:
http://www.philly.com/philly/health/HealthDay664402_20120509_Wheelchair_Breakdowns_on_the_Rise__Study_Finds.html?cmpid=138896554

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