Walking Aids

Why Installing a Mobility Ramp Is Essential for Your Business And How to Get Started

Imagine running errands, only to find that you aren't even able to enter a store due to the way their entrance is built.

As a business owner, it's important to make sure that your business is accessible to customers of varying mobility needs. If your building includes areas with steep curbs, stairs, or other difficult pathways, this may mean installing a mobility ramp.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates that all companies must make their public facilities accessible to customers with disabilities. For customers who use a wheelchair, walker, or power scooter and may struggle with steps, a mobility ramp can offer the perfect solution to help them safely access your business.

In this guide, we'll cover the basics of what you need to know about choosing and installing a wheelchair ramp on commercial property.

 

Top 3 Reasons for Installing a Mobility Ramp

 

ADA Compliance

For US business owners, ADA compliance is mandatory. Companies must make sure that their buildings can accommodate users with a wide range of abilities, or risk facing fines and serious legal action.

 

Expand Your Customer Base

Adding a ramp instantly makes your establishment more appealing to a wider range of people—be it individuals using wheelchairs or parents with strollers. Offering a more convenient way to enter your business means more foot traffic— broadening your customer base overnight.

 

Boost Safety and Customer Experience

Installing a ramp is also safer than relying on stairs alone, particularly in inclement weather. This provides an extra layer of safety for your customers and simplifies moving heavy objects to and from your building interior.

 

What to Know About ADA Ramp Requirements

To meet ADA compliance, your wheelchair ramp must meet certain specified requirements:

  • Surface: Your ramp should have a stable and slip-resistant surface.
  • Width: At a minimum, it should be 36 inches wide.
  • Slope: Stick to a maximum slope of 1:12; for every 12 inches of length, the height should rise no more than 1 inch.
  • Handrails: If the ramp's rise is over 6 inches, handrails on both sides are mandatory.
  • Edge Safety: Implement curbs or railings to stop accidental falls or slippage off the ramp's edge.
  • Landings: Remember to include level landings at both ends of the ramp, and at least every 30 feet in between, for resting purposes.

Consider the following factors when searching for the perfect mobility ramp for your needs:

  • Cost: Budget matters, and a wheelchair ramp cost can vary between a few hundred dollars and several thousand dollars. Choose a ramp that meets your needs while staying within budget.
  • Weather: What weather conditions will the ramp regularly be exposed to? If your ramp is outdoors, it may need to withstand, rain, snow, flooding, or any other number of weather conditions.
  • Portability: Some ramps are specifically designed to be able to be disassembled and reassembled quickly. This can be especially helpful if your shop occasionally changes locations or is on a rented property.
  • Space: Make sure the ramp fits well in your available area and doesn't block any essential paths.
  • Material: Most commercial ramps are made of a combination of wood, steel, aluminum, concrete, and rubber. Select the material best suited to your area's weather conditions, your style preference, and budget.
  • Installation & Maintenance: Some modular ramps take only an hour or two to install, while other models require multiple days and a full installation team.

There are a wide variety of different mobility ramps for business needs, each offering unique features, styles, and benefits.

Here are some examples of specific, specialized types of ramps that you may consider in addition to standard wheelchair ramps.

 

Modular Ramps

 

https://medmartonline.com/accesstrac-modular-handicap-ramp

These semi-permanent ramps are highly customizable to fit the unique architecture of your building. Don't worry about finding a ramp to precisely fit your building, modular ramps can be adjusted, extended, or disassembled as your needs evolve. They're an excellent option for businesses looking for a long-term but flexible solution, or that move frequently.

 

Curb Ramps

 

https://medmartonline.com/ez-access-traverse-curb-plate

Designed to facilitate smooth transitions from sidewalks to roadways, curb ramps are crucial for making public spaces more accessible. They are typically made of concrete, but portable options are available as well. These ramps are essential for wheelchair users, as well as for people pushing strollers or carts.

Threshold Ramps

 

https://medmartonline.com/safepath-products-saferesidential-rubber-threshold-ramps-ada-compliant

Primarily used indoors, threshold ramps help people navigate small steps or uneven floors within a building. These ramps are often made of rubber, aluminum, or composite materials.

 

Not only are mobility ramps a legal necessity for some businesses, but they can go a long way in increasing customer satisfaction and widening your pool of potential customers. 

To find the perfect compliant mobility ramp for your home or business, check out our online catalog of ramps at Med Mart. Our team of product experts are always available to help you select the right ramp for your individual needs. 

 

Navigating the Tax Landscape of Medical Devices – A State-by-State Guide

Navigating the Tax Landscape of Medical Devices – A State-by-State Guide

When purchasing medical devices for personal or family use, your state may impact the overall cost of your items. While most states provide some form of sales tax exemption for medical devices, the details vary from state to state.

In general, most states provide a blanket exemption for all medical devices, or a tax exemption for medical devices prescribed by a licensed provider. However, there are some exceptions.

In this blog, we'll provide an overview of medical device taxes in each state.

 

Exemptions for All Prescribed Devices

To meet the tax exemption, these states require that a medical device be either prescribed or dispensed by a physician.

Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington D.C., and West Virginia.

 

Exemptions for all Devices Regardless of Prescription

These devices do not require a prescription from a physician in order to meet tax exempt status.

Wyoming, Nevada, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey

 

Some Classes of Devices Taxed

 

In the following states, medical devices may be exempt from tax within certain situations. It's important to note the specifics, as exemptions often apply based on prescription, usage, or type of device.

If you live in one of the following states, we recommend researching the specific sales tax code to see if it applies to your situation.

  • Georgia: Exceptions apply to DME sold or prescribed by a physician
  • Minnesota: Subject to tax unless sold for home use or qualified under Medicare/Medicaid
  • Mississippi: Exemptions for certain equipment like prosthetics, orthotics, hearing devices, etc.
  • Montana: Subject to tax, with the exception of certain therapeutic and prosthetic devices.
  • Nebraska: Prescription required for mobility devices. For DME equipment, a prescription and eligibility for the medical assistance program must be established.
  • New Mexico: Exempt only if delivered by a licensed practitioner and the value of the device is included in the cost of service.
  • Ohio: Prescription required to meet exemption, except medical oxygen equipment sold for facility use.
  • South Carolina: Subject to tax, with the exception of devices paid for by South Carolina or Medicare/Medicare programs. These items must also be sold by a licensed South Carolina provider.
  • Washington: Subject to tax, with the exemption of certain items like prosthetic devices, oxygen systems, and others.

The following states do not have any statewide sales tax on any products, including medical devices.

Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon

 

Other Ways to Reduce the Cost of Your Medical Device

Understanding the tax landscape of medical devices is a single step in making an informed medical device purchase.

If you are looking for ways to cut costs when purchasing a medical device for you or a loved one, we also recommend:

Reviewing your insurance coverage: Most insurances provide at least partial coverage for prescribed medical devices.

Contacting a product expert here at Med Mart: With decades of experience, our experts can help you identify the most cost-effective equipment that fits both your needs and budget.

Rollator vs. Walker: Which is Best For Your Needs?

Both walkers and rollators can be incredible, affordable mobility tools for users who struggle to walk around independently. Whether you’re recovering from a surgery, illness, or simply need some extra support, these tools can help users safely maintain an active lifestyle. 

However, there are some key differences between the two: it’s important that you select the right product for your individual needs. In this blog, we’ll go over the differences between walkers and rollators to help guide you to a confident purchase. 

Walkers

Walkers have four legs which all stay firmly planted on the ground to support a user’s weight. In order to move forward, users need to physically lift the walker off the ground, then place it back down again one step ahead. 

Walkers are great for individuals who need extra balance assistance. Because all four legs touch the ground at all times when bearing weight, they are a stable tool to partially support your body weight. 

However, keep in mind that walkers rarely include a place to sit down. If you will struggle to lift a walker off the ground or need frequent rests, you may prefer a rollator. 

Pros: A great tool to support balance and body weight

Cons: Requires arm strength to lift the walker for each step, does not include a seat to rest

Rollator

The main difference between a walker and a rollator are wheels attached to the ends of the rollator legs. There’s no need to physically pick up a rollator each time you need to take a step– simply roll it forward. A rollator’s swiveled wheels are easy to maneuver, making it easy to quickly walk to your next destination. 

Rollators include a brake system to safely come to a stop. They also often have a seat installed in the frame, giving you a place to sit and rest whenever a break is needed. As an added benefit, many rollators also include underseat storage to carry your bags and personal belongings on the go. 

While rollators require less arm strength than a traditional walkers, they are not useful tools for supporting body weight or balance while in motion. Curbs and bumps may be difficult to navigate with large wheels. 

Pros: Faster and easier to maneuver than traditional walkers include a seat to rest

Cons: Do not fully support body weight/balance, some terrain may be difficult to navigate 

How do I choose what option is best for me?

  • Does the user have sufficient arm strength to lift a walker?
  • Does the user require balance/weight-bearing support?
  • Is it important that the user have a seat to rest on?
  • How important are storage compartments to the user?
  • In what terrain will the user be using the walker/rollator? Around the house? On sidewalks? Gravel?

The answers to these questions will be a great indicator of which mobility solution is best for you or a loved one. However, if you need any extra guidance we recommend you get in touch with our team of highly-qualified product experts! Armed with decades of experience, they’d be happy to guide you in finding the right walker or rollator for your specific needs. 

Rollator or Walker, Which Is Best for You?

Both rollators and walkers are designed to help people with mobility or balance issues. These aids can provide additional stability, safety, and independence – but which is right for you?

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