When working with a company to purchase a wheelchair, the process can be immensely complicated. After going through it once and having everything possible go wrong, we made sure to take plenty of mental notes to ensure the next time around would go more smoothly. I want to share a few of the tips I discovered along the way to make for an easier road to your new chair.
The first time we ordered Maddie a wheelchair, the process took about six months which seemed utterly ridiculous. Enter tip one. As soon as your insurance will pay for a new chair, start the process immediately! When we changed insurances, we went ahead and ordered Maddie’s next chair from the start even though we could have made her other work a little longer.
Next, get names of the people you are working with at the company supplying the chair. Ask for a projected timeline. Write it down! If things are moving slower than anticipated, get on the phone as often as need be to speed things back up! After I hadn’t heard back from the supplier by the time they told me I would, I called and asked where we were in the process and what I could do to speed things along. Tell them the urgency in getting your chair and remind them what it means to you. This step shouldn’t be needed in an ideal world, but sadly our world isn’t always ideal!
Don’t be afraid to call your insurance and ask them to expedite tasks that are in their control, such as prior approvals and correspondence with the supplier. My insurance company got to know me on a first name basis! I made sure the steps, timeline, and process that the insurance told me lined up with the wheelchair supplier. If things didn’t add up, I provided the information to the other party. On one such occasion, the supplier had a hold up because they thought they were waiting on a document the insurance provided a month prior. I knew from my calls that it had already been supplied. All it took was the supplier double checking their files and seeing the document was indeed there. How long might have this delay taken if I hadn’t pushed?
With this extra tenacity and lots of phone calls, Maddie’s second chair got to us in half the time the first one did! It seems crazy to have to do all of this as the patient, but I couldn’t argue with results. I am sure there are amazing suppliers out there that eliminate the need for all of this work but taking the time to be your own advocate can only help!
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The opinions and experiences presented herein are for informational use only. Individual results may vary depending on your condition. Always consult with your health care professional. This individual has been compensated by Bard Medical for the time and effort in preparing this article for BARD’s further use and distribution. BMD/BMDA/1015/0047