Wednesday, January 16, 2008

3 out of 56 people voted no

I was just looking at my poll at the bottom of this page.
I see there are now 3 votes for insurance not covering the
cost of the iBOT. I'd love to hear from anyone who voted
no. Please share your thoughts. You can leave an anonymous


Anonymous said...

When you get a chance can you post the picture with the seat reclined??

Wheelchair Revolution! said...

Sure thing, I just can't find my reader at the moment.

Richard said...

I voted yes, although I'd say that since the iBOT is so expensive, the insurance company has a duty to perform due diligence and look carefully to decide whether an iBOT is appropriate for each individual. A bean counter could make a good argument that the iBOT is not medically necessary. However, it is clear to me that it can considerably improve one's quality of life. You could make the same argument about a knee replacement.

Wheelchair Revolution! said...

Yup. I suppose a basic manual wheelchair isn't medically necessary as well. We may as well be locked up in an instituation confined to our beds!

Richard said...

Indeed. It's a question of life-sustaining vs. quality of life. QOL obviously is extremely important; the problem is there's a whole continuum from minimal to maximal improvement of QOL. That's where the insurance companies make a value judgement, which may not coincide with our own.
Additionally, the iBOT may not be suitable to everyone who thinks it would be good for them. It seems to take a fair amount of presence of mind and/or mechanical ability to keep it under control - even the Segway requires some ability, from the video you posted!
As time goes on, I expect it will be easier and easier to convince the powers that be that the iBOT is worthy of full reimbursement. With further development, it will also become easier to use.
It's a very exciting and intriguing device; I hope enough will be sold to justify (pay for) that development.

Wheelchair Revolution! said...

I keep thinking about how Medicare considers the iBOT to be a "luxury". I didn't know that having an eye to eye conversation with a standing adult was a luxury.

I sure hope they continue to make improvements on the iBOT. I don't think that is high on their priority list though. Tech support is superb, but making the iBOT better... I just don't think there is much work being done in that area.

And I don't think there will be any sort of competition. Who else would take on such a huge money losing product?

This is all speculation of course.