Quantum Rehab, a division of Pride Mobility, has released a revision of its quality standards for providers offering its products. The eight-point Quantum Rehab Provider Standards are an update to standards originally released when Quantum launched in 2001, says Ted Raquet, vice president of domestic sales, Pride and Quantum, and are retroactively effective as of January 1, except for one, which goes into effect April 1. The newly revised standards are:
1. Quantum Rehab providers must meet ALL Pride Mobility Products Corp. standards.
2. Quantum products may not be sold over the Internet. (The use of the Internet is to be for educational purposes only)
3. Effective April 1, 2008 Quantum Products must be provided by a supplier that employs a RESNA-certified Assistive Technology Supplier (ATS) or a RESNA-certified Assistive Technology Practitioner (ATP) specializing in wheelchairs who is directly involved in the wheelchair selection for the patient.
4. The provider must employ at least one trained rehab technician per service area and must service all Quantum Rehab products they sell.
5. The provider must have at least one rehab professional ATS/ATP and a rehab service technician attend a Quantum Rehab course annually (i.e. technical repairs and product education via the annual seminar tour). Certificates of attendance and personal transcripts will be available through Pride’s Education Department.
6. The provider must conduct in-person and individualized evaluations of clients to determine the appropriate product requirements.
7. The provider must implement a goal-oriented, client-centered outcome measurement system to measure point-in- time progress.
8. The provider or any individual employed by the provider must not be excluded from a federal or state healthcare program.
The difference between many of the old requirements and their updated version is that the originals were “strong suggestions,” and the new ones are “absolute musts,” says Kirsten DeLay, senior vice president of sales management and operational planning for Pride Mobility, who adds that compliance will be an ongoing process. “We are going to verify compliance with every provider yearly to ensure they are still on track,” she says.
If a provider cannot meet a standard, Quantum will work with that provider to “get them where they need to be,” Raquet says. “Say a provider does not have the ATS or ATP by April 1, if they are working toward that certification we will continue to work with them, as long as they are following that path to attain that in a reasonable time frame,” he explains. “As long as they are in good faith to get that certification, we will work with them.”
Two key elements of Quantum’s provider standards is that the company will, according to a Quantum statement, “reserve the right to decline new applications to prevent marketplace over saturation,” and that Quantum products may not be sold over the Internet or fulfilled via drop shipments. When asked if either of those two factors could have anything to do with the early February brouhaha that erupted between Invacare and The Scooter Store, DeLay and Raquet gave a firm “no.”
“These standards have been in place since the establishment of Quantum Rehab,” Raquet says. “We’ve been working on the revisions since September 2007.”
Raquet and DeLay say the stipulations regarding online sales and market saturation have more to do with protecting their product integrity and the end user. “With competitive bidding looming on the horizon, we won’t see a lot of new entries coming on the marketplace,” Raquet says, referring to market saturation. “There’s going to be consolidating, so we really need to take a look and see what markets that could be affected an how.”
In terms of online sales, Quantum wants to ensure that users are not put in a position of ordering the wrong chair, not getting reimbursed and being stuck with DME they can’t use.“We need the rehab professionals in involved through the initial evaluation all the way through to fulfillment,” Raquet says.