The process of getting a custom seating and mobility system is both time-consuming and complex. It involves working in partnership with you and other healthcare providers, your patient and many different equipment suppliers, to design and deliver the right seating & mobility equipment to meet your patient’s individual needs.
Step 1 - Performing The Evaluation & Designing Your Patient’s Chair
The process of getting new seating & mobility equipment begins with a thorough evaluation of your patient’s condition and is performed by a highly skilled and experienced clinical professional from NSM, known as a Rehab Technology Supplier (RTS).
The evaluation will take anywhere from a few minutes to possibly an entire day, depending upon your patient’s individual situation. During this time, your patient’s
• Medical situation will be thoroughly reviewed
The result of the evaluation provides our professionals the necessary information to design a custom seating & mobility system that will give your patient the function that has been medically prescribed.
To design the chair, NSM works with you, your patient and the healthcare team to select the appropriate chair and components from our network of several hundred suppliers. If a necessary component is not available or needs to be modified, NSM has it fabricated or adapted to fit the need.
Step 2 - Obtaining Funding Approval
This step is the most complex, time-consuming and at times, the most frustrating, because it is largely out of our control.
A seating & mobility system is a major expense, so it must be carefully documented and reviewed in order to meet the approval guidelines of the funding source.
The process begins on the day of the evaluation when your patient is asked to sign an Assignment of Benefits statement so the insurance company will pay us for the equipment. This form also allows us to receive the necessary medical documentation from the physician and therapist that helps us treat your patient. Unless this form is signed, the patient’s physician and therapist are prohibited by law from releasing the medical information.
NSM then gathers all the necessary documents to submit to the funding source. Since we typically need to collect these from many different sources, it can take from several weeks up to several months, depending upon the complexity of the equipment, the cooperation of everyone involved and the requirements of the funding source. We realize that the waiting your patient experiences is frustrating, but this is a difficult and detailed process that is out of our control. Rest assured, NSM always conveys a sense of urgency for prompt responses. Should we encounter an obstacle, we may ask for your patient’s help.
Because we cannot control how quickly we can collect these documents, we ask your patient not call to check the status of the order until at least two weeks following the evaluation.
Once all the documents are collected, we submit them to your patient’s funding source for approval. On average, approval is given within 30 days, but it can take longer. To help expedite this process, we may ask your patient to request the funding source act as quickly as possible to authorize the equipment.
Once we have received a written authorization from your patient’s funding source, we can order the equipment.
Step 3 - Purchasing, Delivering & Maintaining Your Patient’s Equipment
Upon receiving approval from your patient’s funding source in writing, we order all the components of the equipment from our various suppliers. Manufacturing times vary with each supplier, but typically it takes from 3 - 4 weeks for us to receive all the components. If it is necessary to order a specific part not stocked or have a special part fabricated, it may take longer.
Once we have everything we need, the process begins to move much more rapidly. After we have inspected and verified all the components, we then assemble your patient’s system. Depending upon the complexity of the equipment, this can take from several days to several weeks.
Once your patient’s system is complete, we require that all deductibles be paid and verify that the funding source will still pay for the equipment. Then we contact your patient to schedule a time to deliver the equipment, make any necessary adjustments and review all operational, maintenance and safety issues.
Warranties. The manufacturers of your patient’s equipment provide its warranties. And, if your patient experiences any problems that are covered by the warranties, NSM works with the manufacturer to help correct them.
Repairs. Please check with your local NSM office for its policies regarding service calls and repair charges. To schedule an appointment to bring the equipment in for repairs, call (866) 317-6300, toll-free.
If we are to bill your patient’s funding source for repair, it’s possible we may have to have prior authorization from the payer before we can do the work. It may be necessary for us to ask your patient to contact their payer to request approval of the the authorization as quickly as possible.
And while we do everything we possibly can to take care of your patient and his/her equipment, we must also reserve the right not to repair any equipment that we did not provide.