So I’m interacting with some folks over at DATI regarding a device for one of my patients. My buddy over there who I’ve been chit-chatting up, referred to a device as “unlocked” earlier and I asked for an explanation. It was a pretty solid explanation so I thought I’d share:
“Well, all devices are computers. Maestro, Vantage Lite, AltChat. Every single one is a computer AND a dedicated device. It is dedicated to only run the communication program the company chooses for it. It would be like if you got an iPad that only had P2G or TouchChat on it. Since they only run the one program and nothing else, no YouTube or solitaire or anything like that, they are only capable of running the communication program, Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance are typically cool with paying for them. If it was just an open system, they would not because you could use the system for much more than just communication.
So all of these dedicated systems that can be covered by insurance can be unlocked, meaning, the maker (DynaVox, PRC, Saltillo) can change the programming so that in addition to the communication software, the device can have full function like the computer it is. DynaVox charges like $55 to unlock devices, not sure how much PRC charges, and I’m sure Saltillo is also under $100. Typically, a family gets insurance to pay for the dedicated device and then the family or school will pay the “unlock fee” and then everyone’s happy.
Yeah. I follow. Sassypants.