What is a CEAC and Why Are They Working on My Claim?

Thursday, June 9th, 2022
Stair lift on yellow staircase
Automatic stair lift on staircase

Standing for Certified Environmental Access Consultant, CEAC is a certification held by many professionals who develop adaptive housing solutions. Environmental access refers to the process of physically changing a home, in our case, to foster independence and functionality for an injured worker.

The concept for this accreditation arose because the market was full of remodeling contractors, interior designers, and rehab professionals–all with varying levels of understanding about home modifications. The CEAC program was created to reduce the disparity in their training and practices.

VGM Live at Home administers the CEAC credentialling program. It involves a six-part, self-study educational program, unit reviews, and a comprehensive final exam. The course prepares rehab and construction professionals to take an overall look at the injured worker and their abilities along with safety hazards, and the home environment, and recommend appropriate changes. A variety of professionals, including physical and occupational therapists, assistive technology professionals, remodeling contractors and builders, and interior designers, can take the course to qualify for the certification.

The CEAC certificate symbolizes competence that separates environmental access professionals from a para-professional trade. In addition to our CEAC-certified partners in the field, ATF Medical has three CEACs on staff.

One is our Supervisor of Adaptive Housing Karissa Peffer.  Karissa coordinates adaptive housing solutions, collaborating closely with contractors and professionals to make sure home modifications are appropriate for the injured individual’s physical condition and lifestyle.

Rachel Amentt, who is a Coordinator II in Adaptive Housing, recently received her CEAC certification. And our Executive Director of Rehab Technology, Erin Zablocki, was one of the first five people in the nation to earn the Master CEAC designation. Already a CEAC for several years, Erin took additional training in core product categories for the field to earn the Master accreditation.

ATF Medical’s professionals continue to learn and grow in their fields, and the company covers the cost of their continuing education. We do this to ensure that our adaptive housing solutions are clinically driven and outcome centric. You can spend all the money in the world on a home mod, but if it doesn’t work for the specific injured worker, it’s all for naught.

A team of specialists collaborate on each of ATF Medical’s adaptive housing projects. Assistive Technology Professionals, Occupational Therapists, and—yes—CEACs work together. We look at every angle and consider the medical equipment, assistive technologies, the home’s construction, and the person’s lifestyle before recommending an adaptive housing solution.

We’re constantly looking at new technologies and new construction methods. And we’re constantly educating ourselves so that we can equip every seriously injured worker to live their best life.

For information on our adaptive housing solutions, contact Erin Zablocki, ezablocki@atfmedical.com.

 

Rehab Management Takes a Tour of Apple’s Upcoming Accessibility Features

Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

In case you missed it, Apple is adding accessibility features to iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple Watches. These can make big differences in the lives of injured workers.

The company is rolling out Live Captions on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac to help people with hearing impairments more easily follow audio content while streaming, using a phone or FaceTime, or video conferencing.

Apple is also introducing Door Detection to help people who are blind or have poor vision navigate new environments.

And its Apple Watch Mirroring empowers people with upper body limb challenges to use iPhone assistive features like Voice Control and Switch Control from their Apple Watches. Hand gestures can answer or end a call or pause media without the person having to tap the display.  Available later this year, these features and more are described in this article from Rehab Management.

US Senator Bob Dole – Champion of the ADA

Thursday, December 9th, 2021

ATF Medical honors the life of US Senator Bob Dole, the man who was so instrumental in passing the Americans with Disabilities Act. From his first Senate floor speech in 1969 until the ADA was signed in 1990, this World War II hero, who was badly wounded and knew firsthand what it was like to not be able to be fully functional, fought for the rights of people with disabilities. One of the country’s most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislations, the ADA banned discrimination based on disability in all parts of public right, guaranteeing the people with disabilities could no longer be denied access to jobs, schools and transportation. Read more here.  

Complex Medical Equipment is Not a Commodity

Monday, May 17th, 2021

This post was written by Rick Wyche, ATF Medical’s Senior Director of Business Development

Joe Paduda’s blog post on buying workers’ compensation services was dead-on. If you missed it, please take a minute to read it. Paduda discussed the fact that some people tend to look at a lot of services as commodities – and acknowledged that some of them are. He cited pharmacy benefit management (PBMs) as an example, mentioning that the larger PBMs have bigger buying power.

“In contrast, think clinically oriented services, those delivered to high-need patients, e.g., powered wheelchairs.”

Now he was singing my song!

“What matters is NOT the buying power of the supplier, but it’s the customer-centricity, depth of knowledge, flexibility, and adaptability. The power wheelchair has to be the right weight, carrying capacity, have the right functionality, fit through the right width and height, and meet the user’s functional restrictions,” Paduda continued.

I covered this topic in detail in WorkCompWire. Specialized equipment for workers with complex injuries is a high-touch prospect. Whether the company is large or small, its people need long-term, deep relationships with manufacturers, lots of education, and to stay current with the latest trends and technologies. Most important, the company has to deliver amazing service to injured workers and to workers’ comp payers.

ATF Medical’s professionals conduct clinical evaluations and leverage our in-depth product knowledge and experience when recommending the precise equipment and components for your injured worker. Considerations include:
• Current medical status and expected changes
• The living space
• Available and upcoming technologies and products
• Transportation needs
• Nursing care arrangements
• Family/support system

We have all kinds of certified specialists on staff: occupational therapists, assistive technology professionals, rehab technology specialists, environmental access consultants, durable medical equipment specialists, and home modification experts. Depending on the diagnoses, we build a team to create a unique solution for your injured worker.

And, I know everyone says “unique solution,” but there is no other way to adequately describe it. There are so many components, people, and perspectives that go into an ATF Medical recommendation. It’s not a product or a single service. It truly is a solution.

We order everything for you, handle all the deliveries and set up and oversee any renovations. There’s no deliver and drop. We make sure injured workers are fitted properly and they and their families understand how complicated equipment works and who to call with questions. We check in with them and monitor injured workers’ progress, suggest changes. We repair and maintain equipment – and we keep the adjusters, case managers, and other claims reps informed every step of the way.

Same thing with adaptive housing services. Everything is customized to the needs of a particular worker’s condition and living space and designed to work efficiently and cost effectively with their medical equipment. We’re all about increasing their quality of life and without wasting your money.

Complex injuries call for complex solutions. When that’s what you need, call 877-880-4283 or ask your home health company, TPA, or insurance company to ask for us.

ATF Medical Makes Dream Come True for Dad

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020

Robert was injured when a 1700-pound pallet fell on him, leaving him a complete paraplegic. Then he developed an infection in his leg that resulted in an amputation.

He had been struggling for a year trying to get his wheelchair (not from ATF Medical) to work with his lifestyle when his case was referred to ATF Medical and he met Rehab Specialist, Kevin Wallace, ATP, CRTS.

His manual TiLite TRA was fine for indoor use, but Robert needed to be able to wheel around his roughly two-acre property. Much of his land is hilly, and he likes to hunt and fish and enjoy his creek. Also, his property sits next to a national park with trails he wanted to explore.

But most of all, he wanted to be able to take his two-year-old daughter on his nature excursions.

Upon receiving the case, Kevin called Robert to discuss his injuries and capabilities, lifestyle and terrain, and his desire to bond with his little girl. Having previously worked in pediatrics, Kevin knew nothing on the market had a toddler seat attachment.

So, he went to work designing a way to attach and remove a toddler bicycle seat easily and safely. Robert and his fabulous case manager bought into the concept, and Kevin made a mount for a rack, connected it to a freewheel extension.

The big moment came when he attached the toddler seat to the chair. The expression on Robert’s face was priceless.

“His chair has a dump to it, to keep him positioned in the back of the chair, and his daughter can sit in front, facing him. He can keep an eye on her and see what’s happening in front of them,” Kevin explained.

Kevin also switched out the rims and tires with larger, sturdier rims and big knobby tires, careful to keep the seat-to-floor height. Now, Robert can easily access parts of his property that he hadn’t laid eyes on since his injury. He can also use a single handle to easily detach the freewheel device and seat, when riding without his little passenger.

This is just another example of how ATF Medical goes above and beyond to help injured employees live their best lives. With innovation and caring about the injured person’s desire to enjoy the outdoors and introduce nature to his little girl, Kevin made Robert’s desires a reality.

CEAC Certification Goes to Karissa Peffer

Wednesday, September 9th, 2020

Our Senior Coordinator of Adaptive Housing Solutions Karissa Peffer recently received the Certified Environmental Access Consultant (CEAC) certification. Karissa, who coordinates adaptive housing solutions, works closely with contractors and rehabilitation specialists and therapists, to make sure injured workers’ home modifications are appropriate for the injured worker’s physical condition and lifestyle.

The CEAC course covers the impact of a disability on home and work environments as well as function and safety, along with legal and ethical obligations. Learn more here.

Applying that knowledge to housing solutions within the workers’ compensation industry requires creativity, clinical knowledge, logic, and a great deal of organization. “Karissa has them all,” said ATF Medical’s Executive Director of Rehab Technology, Erin Zablocki, CMDE, CEAC, ECHM. “The CEAC designation tells our clients and future clients that Karissa is highly qualified to help them customize solutions that maximize their injured workers’ independence, physical capabilities, and enable them to enjoy life to the fullest.”

ATF Medical strongly supports continuing education, giving its team members time off to attend courses like this and reimbursing fees.  We want to make sure our clients receive the most innovative solutions possible.

Join us in congratulating Karissa.  You can contact her at Kpeffer@atfmedical.com.

 

Don’t modify a home without an OT/ATP

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

Considering a home mod without clinical input? What could go wrong? Unnecessary changes and expenses? A shower chair that hangs out of the shower? Complete kitchen renovations and upgrades, when minor changes would work? ATF Medical’s Erin Zablocki tells you how to make sure your adaptive housing programs fit the injured worker’s condition and lifestyle in this WorkCompWire article.

ATF Medical Response to COVID-19

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020

Considering the unprecedented pandemic, we wanted to update you all on some changes we are implementing at ATF Medical. Our priority is safeguarding the health and well being of our employees and the patients we serve. As such, the following changes are in effect immediately:

1) ATF Medical has cancelled all non-essential travel and most of our staff are
working remotely to help stop the spread.
2) We will be utilizing our tele-health video conferencing system whenever
appropriate to diagnose and repair equipment as quickly and efficiently as
possible.
3) When necessary, a technician may be deployed to assist patients in person. It is highly likely that we will experience service delays as many of our long-term network partners are sheltering in place and not available to complete site visits.
Whenever possible, equipment will be assessed outside of the home, in a garage or front porch to avoid contact as much as possible.

As is the case everywhere, we are continually monitoring the situation and will provide updates regarding changes in our procedures as needed.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Chair friendly grocery carts arrive at popular grocery store chain

Friday, November 1st, 2019

 

Publix, a popular grocery store chain with stores in the Southeast, has long lived by its slogan: “Where shopping is a pleasure.” Now, Publix is making shopping more pleasurable for customers in wheelchairs. Designed to hook onto the front of a wheelchair, the cart enables people in chairs to roll themselves up and down the aisles without having to push the cart. Watch this news story:  https://www.fox13news.com/news/publix-rolls-out-new-shopping-carts-for-wheelchair-bound-customers-1