Adaptive Equipment Evaluations
By Katie Howell, PT, DPT
Physical therapists can help assess children for particular adaptive equipment needs, as well as help get equipment covered through insurance or other funds. We do not provide solely adaptive equipment assessments, as we need to have assessed the child in all areas to determine medical necessity and appropriateness of equipment. However, all of our PTs are trained and happy to complete an evaluation and then help with adaptive equipment as needed during treatment.
There are several types of equipment that may be helpful for your child, depending on his/her age and needs. With the help of a Durable Medical Equipment (DME) provider (such as through companies like Norco and Numotion), we are able to help fit a child for a wheelchair, standing frame, walker, gait trainer, adaptive stroller, etc.
What do these evaluations look like? They typically take up most, if not all, of a child’s treatment session. The PT will set up the evaluation for the duration of the typical treatment session and will
discuss with you, your child, and the DME provider which piece of equipment best suits your child/family needs. The DME provider will typically bring pieces of trial equipment so you can better see and understand the options available, as well as to have your child try the equipment prior to purchasing.
The DME provider will ask questions about what features best suit your child/family needs and foster the most independence. He/she will also likely take body measurements to determine specific
equipment sizing (they are very good at taking measurements in any position and for wiggly kids!).
Purchasing any large piece of equipment takes time. Even if the equipment gets approved the first time around, it can take several months from the equipment evaluation until you receive the equipment. The DME provider will request a quote, the PT will write a letter, then everything will get reviewed (and hopefully approved) by insurance prior to ordering the equipment.
If you have any questions about how adaptive equipment assessments work, insurance coverage, or how to request an assessment, please ask your PT or contact CTP at 208-323-8888.