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  • Fes Bike

    Has anyone successfully got an FES bike through Medicare? You'd think they'd want to give me one seeing how much they've paid over the last 7 months to treat my blood clot. If you did what did you have to do? I've tried to look for threads regarding this but most are fairly old and I know Medicare has recently undergone some changes.

  • #2
    contact RTI directly. They might have some help for you. I know that they will work to get approval but might take a while.

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    • #3
      One can hardly get them to purchase a standing frame, so an FES bike would be even harder. Just hasn't been enough widespread proof that there is any benefit from using these.

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      • #4
        I guess if you want an FES bike you have to be rich or have extremely good fund raising skills.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by SequinScandal View Post
          I guess if you want an FES bike you have to be rich or have extremely good fund raising skills.
          Even if you have the funds, they still require a Dr's prescrip to purchase one. Best way is to find used ones. There was an ERGYS2 in here a while ago that was cheap for an FES, but if the program key is used up(they allow so only many uses) one would need a doctors note top get a new key. I have used the RTI bikes and they didn't work worth the crap having to be used from your wheelchair.

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          • #6
            Getting a drs prescription wouldn't be an issue. How much more powerful is a FES bike vs a muscle stim? I have this one http://www.neurocare.com I also have the SCI Fit 2 Pro bike. http://scifit.com/proseries/pro2.shtml

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jschism View Post
              Even if you have the funds, they still require a Dr's prescrip to purchase one. Best way is to find used ones. There was an ERGYS2 in here a while ago that was cheap for an FES, but if the program key is used up(they allow so only many uses) one would need a doctors note top get a new key. I have used the RTI bikes and they didn't work worth the crap having to be used from your wheelchair.
              Why do you say they didn't work? Could you be a little more specific?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jschism View Post
                Even if you have the funds, they still require a Dr's prescrip to purchase one. Best way is to find used ones. There was an ERGYS2 in here a while ago that was cheap for an FES, but if the program key is used up(they allow so only many uses) one would need a doctors note top get a new key. I have used the RTI bikes and they didn't work worth the crap having to be used from your wheelchair.
                I use an Electrologic StimMaster Galaxy, an antique by today's standards. It's similar to the ERGYS -- a gigantic unit (here's a photo I grabbed from the web). The PT who trained me on FES was partial to the ERGYS over the RTI, which has a motor and thus makes less than clear how much effort belongs to the rider vs. the assistance provided by the unit. I'm not sure that would dissuade me from the RTI, which is a tremendous space saver over the ERGYS, but there is a benefit to sitting in a solid, immobile seat.
                stephen@bike-on.com

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                • #9
                  Medicare doesn't cover FES bikes. Medicaid in some states has.
                  Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know that, so it goes on flying anyways--Mary Kay Ash

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                  • #10
                    Why not just buy a used Stimmaster or Ergys 2? I've seen them selling really cheap on the Classified sections, I saw one Stimmaster selling for 1000 bucks, that's a deal.
                    "Life is about how you
                    respond to not only the
                    challenges you're dealt but
                    the challenges you seek...If
                    you have no goals, no
                    mountains to climb, your
                    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SequinScandal View Post
                      Why do you say they didn't work? Could you be a little more specific?
                      Sitting in my chair caused me to have spasms due to the angle, which results in my chair wanting to tip over. You have to kinda sit on the front edge of your chair so you can pedal without it hittng the footrest, which also made it really uncomfortable. While it saves space with something like the RTI, a built-in seat is so much better and safer, IMO. I had the same problems using the Rand arm/leg cycle and went with a NuStep for the same reasons.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jschism View Post
                        Sitting in my chair caused me to have spasms due to the angle, which results in my chair wanting to tip over. You have to kinda sit on the front edge of your chair so you can pedal without it hittng the footrest, which also made it really uncomfortable. While it saves space with something like the RTI, a built-in seat is so much better and safer, IMO. I had the same problems using the Rand arm/leg cycle and went with a NuStep for the same reasons.
                        Who set it up for you? If it's set up properly and the stim is done at appropriate levels, you shouldn't have to sit on the edge of your chair or be at risk of tipping back. Was it the stim that caused the spasms, and not necessarily the angle?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SequinScandal View Post
                          Getting a drs prescription wouldn't be an issue. How much more powerful is a FES bike vs a muscle stim? I have this one http://www.neurocare.com I also have the SCI Fit 2 Pro bike. http://scifit.com/proseries/pro2.shtml
                          I don't know about other FES bikes but the RTI bike can pump more voltage deeper into the muscle than any other standalone muscle stim unit. They actually are capable of the most powerful settings allowed by the FDA.

                          How do you like the SCI FIT 2 pro?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Curt Leatherbee View Post
                            Why not just buy a used Stimmaster or Ergys 2? I've seen them selling really cheap on the Classified sections, I saw one Stimmaster selling for 1000 bucks, that's a deal.
                            I've never thought of that. I didn't know you could get one for that cheap. I just don't want to waste my money and then it stop working like a month later.

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                            • #15
                              I would recommend trying these units first. Some hospitals have them and then specialty gyms. I have used the Ergys, RTI and stimmaster. For ME the RTI worked best as far as the estim keeping my legs going. At the gym I tried it at, there seemed to be a definite split with people, some people worked better with the Ergys and some with the RTI.

                              Not being biased, but RTI shows you when the motor is pushing and how much. The old RTI display is way better and more useful than the Ergys display. I haven't seen the New RTI display, but seeing as it's a larger display I can only see it being an improvement.

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