Wheelchair repairs can take months: What local advocates are doing to change that
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have estimated that more than half of wheelchairs break down in a typical six-month period. Many Connecticut residents say those repairs can take months.
This hour, we hear from local advocates with the Connecticut Wheelchair Reform Coalition about a recently-formed legislative task force and their goals for next session. In particular, they hope to study and set limits on repair turnaround times. UPitt researcher Dr. Lynn Woroby also shares her findings on the frequency of wheelchair breakdowns.
Plus, how does private equity impact health care? Private Equity Stakeholder Project is a nonprofit watchdog organization investigating this question.
The business model and priority for private equity investments is to maximize profit, Eileen O'Grady explains. "In order to produce those kinds of returns, it might mean cutting staffing, reducing training hours, or relying on staff or clinicians that have a lower level of licensure. It might also mean financial shenanigans, like adding lots and lots of debt to a company to pay their shareholders... All of these things can have really material impacts on the quality of care and on the quality of jobs."
- Jonathan Sigworth: Member, CT Wheelchair Reform Coalition; Member, State Independent Living Council; Consumer Spokesperson, Connecticut Wheelchair Task Force; Co-Founder, CEO and President, More Than Walking
- Farrah Garland: Member, CT Wheelchair Reform Coalition; Member, State Independent Living Council
- Lynn Woroby: Research Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh
- Eileen O'Grady: Research and Campaign Director, Private Equity Stakeholder Project
Cat Pastor contributed to this show which originally aired July 17, 2023.