AAHomecare Calls for Case Manager Stories

Association is collecting accounts from discharge planners, case managers, social workers on patients’ difficulties getting DME.

In its efforts to build the case that competitive bidding is hurting patients access to needed equipment, the American Association for Homecare is using a brief survey to ask medical professionals and support staff such as hospital discharge planners, case managers, and social workers about their experiences in getting HME/DME for their patients.

One story collected by the survey was from Jennifer Nulph, a registered respiratory therapist at the Lung Institute with Columbus Regional Health, who reported that oxygen and related products were hard to obtain.

“We are hearing from a lot of patients in the Columbus, Indiana area that it is taking longer to get oxygen, or in some cases CPAP or BiPAP,” she said. “Patients are getting diagnosed as needing equipment but it may take two to three weeks to receive it. The HME companies are struggling; they have had to let people go. But the policy is the problem.”

Despite the nationwide problem of adequate equipment access, Nulph added that it is difficult to convince patients to self-advocate.

“I’ve encouraged the patients to complain, but they won’t,” she daid. “They are used to their delivery tech and become concerned that this is the person who will get in trouble.”

That obstinance compounds the need for case managers to speak out on behalf of their patients and ensure lawmakers hear those stories, according to AAHoemacre, which urged providers to share the survey with their referral sources.

Important links:

  • Information about the survey is located at http://bit.ly/2dfkiG1.
  • An online version of the survey is at http://bit.ly/2cLBZK6.
  • A printable/faxable version of the survey is at http://bit.ly/2d8TMh9.

For more information on the survey, email Ashley Plauché, manager of government relations at AAHomecare, at ashleyp@aahomecare.org.

About the Author

David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/dkopf/ and on Twitter at @postacutenews.

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