“Our healthcare system should never get to this point. However, many manufacturers are sending out notices to DMEs that they cannot fulfill their orders for things like oxygen concentrators, enteral and specialized infant formulas, portable oxygen concentrators, hospital beds, wheelchairs, and walkers. These shortages of supplies again make it more difficult to support our ongoing DME patients who also have critical needs.”
– Terry Racciato, RN PHN
The current COVID-19 pandemic presents extraordinary challenges to our health care system. As this virus continues to spread and hospitals reach capacity, we will see an increased need for home treatment for a number of health issues, including those directly related to COVID-19. As hospitals discharge patients into their homes or other residential settings to free-up resources and hospital beds, the resultant strain on the provision of DME Items and services, particularly for suppliers of home oxygen and ventilators, will significantly increase. It is critical to have a strong, well-supported and financially viable DME infrastructure to allow patients to recover at home during this crisis and beyond.
The Challenges DME Face
DME providers serve millions of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries in their own homes; and we expect that number to grow significantly with the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Our members supply home oxygen therapy, ventilator services, and many other necessary items and services that allow patients to be released from hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities to complete their recovery at home.
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