Manufacturers' New Lines Reveal Low-Cost and Comfortable Cushions Rule

Taking a cue from the recent reimbursement cuts to adjustable and non-adjustable cushions, some seating manufacturers are looking for simpler solutions to stay afloat.


On July 1, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued temporary codes for adjustable cushions and slashed allowables for both adjustable and non-adjustable cushions. Take a look at the allowables at www.cms.hhs.gov/MLNMattersArticles/downloads/MM5017.pdf or www.cignamedicare.com/articles/May06/cope4243.html.

Recently, manufacturers used the show floor at Medtrade in Atlanta as a forum for showcasing products strategically engineered to offer providers low-cost alternatives. Non-adjustable cushions were all the rage at Varilite, and a go-anywhere cushion took center stage at The ROHO Group — both manufacturers proving that they have something up their sleeves for senior clients with minor seating needs.

Seattle-based Varilite rolled out the Reflex, a non-adjustable cushion that employs the same signature technology as other Varilite cushions but without the valve. Reflex is a fool-proof solution for geriatric clients. Kevin Coleman, sales manager, said Varilite's new cushion seeks to replace products lost in the CMS cushion battle.

Buzz around The ROHO Group's booth centered on the stylish new LTV, a cushion designed to go where the client goes — and cross market segments. Though the LTV incorporates ROHO's interconnected air-cell technology, the lightweight, portable cushion comes in at a much lower price tag. Melissa Keim, marketing manager, said that the cushion is a great fit for scooter clients and makes a great cash-and-carry item. LTV is the perfect cushion for the car, recliner, couch and more.

Persevering through the changes in reimbursement, other manufacturers offered seating lines that emphasized comfort for the end-user. Invacare, for example, introduced two new lightweight options to its InTouch™ line — InTouch Stabilite™, a positioning cushion with an overlay that helps prevent shearing for geriatric clients, and InTouch Flovair™, a skin protection/positioning cushion with heat-sealed channels to prevent bottoming out.

And addressing the need for long-lasting comfort and pressure management, Quantum Rehab released the Synergy® Solution® 1 cushion. Many of the design elements add comfort, including the wrap and lift design, high-density polyurethane foam construction, Solution 1 top layer, and four-way stretch fluid-resistant upper cover.

Blue Chip Medical also unleased the Pre-Vent Hex Gel Bariatric Wheelchair Cushion — a cushion that combines Gel-Flex and Med-Flex® VPF™ foam for pressure relief, comfort and support. The viscous gel migrates through Hexon channels to relieve pressure around bony prominences.

Check out Elisha's Picks in the October issue of Home Health Products for a look at the latest cushion offerings.

This article originally appeared in the October 2006 issue of HME Business.

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