Concerns of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation – AAPM&R Vis A Vis ”Obamacare”

In 1998, a presidential commission on Consumer Protection  issued a  report where it defined, in its view, the purpose of a health care system. The report stated:
“The purpose of the health care system must be to continuously reduce the impact and burden of illness, injury, and disability, and to improve the health and functioning of the people of the United States.”
People that have disabilities and chronic conditions depend on habilitative services and devices. This is  equivalent to the provision of antibiotics to a person who has an infection—both areessential to medical intervention. Therefore, rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices are a vital component of health care, especially for persons that have disabilities and chronic conditions.
These services and devices:
• Speed recovery and allow discharge to one’s home sooner rather than later and provide a higher level of function post injury or illness
• Improve long-term  health status and improve the likelihood of living independently
• Reduce the likelihood of relapse or returning to the hospital
• Slow or completely stop the progression of primary and secondary disabilities as they maintain functioning and prevent further deterioration
• Facilitate a return to work under appropriate circumstances
For example,  rehabilitative  services and devices:
• Enable persons with spinal cord injuries to recover and regain functions through intensive rehabilitation services
• Enable people who were  born with congenital conditions or developmental disabilities to learn skills and the ability to function through various therapies and assistive devices
• Enable people with  traumatic brain or spine injury to improve cognition and functioning by using appropriate therapies and assistive devices
It is evident from literature and personal evidence that when people with disabilities and chronic conditions have access to treatments, including rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices, their health and quality of life are substantially improved.  Both patients and insurers, as well the taxpayers save many dollars of future health care costs.
The Brain Injury Association of  America claims that the results of inadequate rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices for individuals with disabilities and chronic conditions to society are  well known. It can result in elevated levels of medical  complications, permanent disability, job loss, family dysfunction,  homelessness, medical indigence, suicide and even involvement with the criminal  justice system.
Inadequate treatment can also lead to lost productivity and greater utilization of public income  programs and plans (such as SSI and SSDI, Medicare and Medicaid) and long-term care.
Health benefits should enable individuals to be  functional, healthy and live as independently as possible. Rehabilitation services and devices should lessen the deterioration of a person’s financial status.
The AAPM&R organization is concerned that the new medical care act (Obamacare) will provide for all of the above services. One of the most efficient and cost effective recently developed physical therapy products is the TUTOR system. This is a system that will reduce the impact and burden of illness and disability. It has all the qualities of a rehabilitation program that is needed to assist patients in regaining their mobility after a stroke, brain or spinal cord injury, MS, CP, Parkinson’s disease and other upper or lower limb disabilities. The TUTOR system consists of motivating and challenging games that allow the patient to practice isolated and/or interjoint coordination exercises. Controlled exercise practice will help to prevent the development of compensatory movement patterns. The physical therapist objectively and quantitatively evaluates the treatment progress and designs a cuistomized program for the patient.
Fully certified by the FDA and CE the TUTORs (HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR and 3 DTUTOR) are available for use by children as well as adults and at the patient’s home through telerehabilitation. See WWW.MEDITOUCH.CO.IL for more information.
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