AAHomecare: DMEPOS Needs Priority Vaccine Distribution Status

Association urges various federal officials that Phase 1 Distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine must include DMEPOS suppliers because of their close contact with patients.

The American Association for Homecare has called on various federal officials to given their close contact with patients in the home setting, the Phase 1 Distribution of COVID-19 vaccine should include DMEPOS suppliers given their work as front-line healthcare personnel.

In letters to officials at HHS and Operation Warp Speed, the association said DMEPOS supplier staff should be part of the Phase 1a distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine since they have a high risk of transmission while caring for patients in their homes.

“DMEPOS suppliers are in patients’ homes every day and play a central role in helping individuals infected with COVID-19 manage their health care needs at home so that hospitals and acute care facilities have the capacity to handle those requiring more intensive care,” AAHomecare President and CEO Tom Ryan wrote in letters to HHS Secretary Alex Azar and General Gustave Perna, who oversees Operation Warp Speed. “In addition to directly interfacing with infected individuals, many of the products and services provided by DMEPOS suppliers require their staff to enter homes with other caregivers or family present to set up the equipment for use.”

(Download a PDF of Ryan’s letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar.)

A public statement from the association noted that it is reaching out to other federal officials on the issue, as well.

“DMEPOS personnel are providing exceptional care under extraordinary circumstances, and AAHomecare believes our professionals and the patients we serve deserve the measure of safety that priority access to COVID-19 vaccines can deliver,” it added. 

About the Author

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

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