By Zack Craft, ATS, ATP, CAPS, RRTS
Mattress selection is an aspect of complex medical care that few workers' compensation payers -- or providers, for that matter -- take seriously enough. Rehab mattresses provide positioning, support, comfort, and protection against wounds. Their pressure controls, inflation/deflation rates, rotation, bellow designs and materials (foam, gel, layered foam, sand, fluid, and combinations of these) are the details that make the difference.
There are hundreds of rehabilitative mattresses on the market, all addressing specific issues. However, most workers' compensation mattress scripts are limited to a couple of manufacturers and models. This is partly due to physicians' familiarity only with brands used in hospitals and partly to durable medical equipment (DME) companies' limited access to manufacturers and distributors.
With long-term disability claims comprising more than 11 percent of the workers' compensation medical dollar, mattresses are important cost considerations.