PFQC Survey: Patients Still Waiting on HME

An online poll of patients sees that they are waiting upwards of two weeks for medical equipment, seeing increased out-of-pocket cost.

Beneficiaries are finding it difficult to get home medical equipment and supplies in a timely manner; Medicare cuts are having a ripple effect on other health programs; and patients are experiencing increased out-of-pocket expenses, according to a new survey.

People for Quality Care (PFQC), a division of VGM Group, conducted an informal social media survey to understand challenges patients and caregivers face in getting home medical equipment and supplies. Those responding to the PFQC survey reported they had to wait upwards of two weeks for their equipment and supplies.

“It is unacceptable for people to be forced to go without their wheelchairs and other essential medical equipment that they need to manage their mobility and other medical needs at home,” said Rose Schafhauser, state association partner for People for Quality Care and executive director of MAMES and SWMESA.

The survey also confirmed that regardless medical coverage —Medicare or private insurance —patients still had a harder time getting HME and related supplies. Nearly one in four respondents who were not on Medicare had challenges in obtaining needed items. This is likely due to the ripple effect Medicare cuts were having on other health programs and payers.

“The impact of Medicare is far-reaching as it is often the benchmark for other payors, such as children and adults with Medicaid, active military families with TRICARE, and many more,” explains Ashley Plauché, the legislative partner for People for Quality Care and manager of member and public relations at the American Association for Homecare. “The survey results indicate an alarming trend of reduced access across the board — something that must be dealt with at the source to ensure that all people have access to equipment, services, and support they require.”

Finally, more than half of respondents reported paying increased out-of-pocket expenses, the survey reported.

“No matter how great or small of the increase, it is not only becoming harder for people to get medical equipment and supplies to manage their health care needs and maintain a quality of life, it is becoming more expensive,” a statement form PFQC read.

About the Author

David Kopf is the Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.

Comments

Fri, Jun 7, 2019

My most recent - patient delay in getting equipment, a walker ordered in MARCH! The home and payer calling repeatedly - when are you going to deliver the walker "We did deliver the walker" - we are told no you didn't and 'we had to prove ourselves innocent' when documentation 'did so' we found the 'Adult Care Home owner' put it in their storage - oh 'she didn't like that one'?!! And the Adult care homes 'taking equipment' is now Chronic! Its plain ol THEFT ! ... and it's chronic... and the problem is increasing. Tight funding on both sides, anything for a buck - lack of ethic - call it what you want - one more chunk of 'BS' to eat on a regular basis. Oh the patient died 4 months ago - only lived 3 days beyond delivery - no calls - just take the stuff, its ours now... na na na.... This industry has become dismal! has it not.

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