ICS’ Jean Minkel Talks Wheelchairs at United Spinal

Independence Care System (ICS) Senior Vice President, Care Management Jean Minkel discussed the importance of properly fitted wheelchairs for people with disabilities at a United Spinal Association New York City Chapter webinar: Wheelchairs – Why Custom Fit Matters.
ICS SVP Jean Minkel
ICS Senior Vice President, Care Management Jean Minkel

Jean, an internationally recognized expert on seating and mobility, discussed the services available from ICS’ On A Roll program and explained its focus on assisting with a person’s functional abilities, mobility, posture, and skin protection needs. On A Roll ensures that people with disabilities can get around, in their homes and communities because they are thoroughly evaluated and provided with the right wheelchair to protect their health and maintain their independence.

On A Roll and assisted mobility

On A Roll services are individualized and are covered by many insurance plans.

Jean provided a comprehensive overview—a hierarchy of assisted mobility—explaining in detail the various devices people with disabilities can use and how devices, including canes, crutches or walkers, manual wheelchairs, scooters, and power chairs, operate, along with the pros and cons of each.

“As a physical therapist, I’ve worked for my entire professional career to be sure wheelchairs are viewed as a tool to let someone be fully mobile,” Jean said. “Customizing a wheelchair can move someone from being stuck and not mobile to being able to have self-generated mobility. It’s really important to being able to fully participate in home and community life.”

She also addressed issues that can prevent mobility, including falls, loss of balance, and fatigue, noting that On A Roll works with the person’s doctor and insurer to help make sure they get the right equipment.

Questions about wheelchair services

Following the presentation, Jean took questions from participants. One asked how often insurance companies pay for power chairs.

“The lifetime of a chair is five years as far as insurance is concerned,” Jean said. “If you are not able to manage your chair because of a change in condition, you could make a medical necessity argument before the five year requirement is over.”

Another participant asked how it is possible to know the best product on the market if one does not try the item before purchasing.

“I’m going to encourage people to think about themselves as a consumer,” Jean said. “How many things would you buy without trying them? Many wheelchair clinics offer a trial opportunity. On A Roll offices have demo areas so people can test drive chairs. In some circumstances, we can bring them to people’s homes. Reach out and say, I need a trial before I purchase this.” Click here to view the entire event.

Christopher Engelhardt

Christopher Engelhardt

Communications Specialist