'A big non-event'
A warning from the Food and Drug Administration that daylight-saving time could cause some HME to malfunction proved to be largely unfounded, providers reported the week following the March 10 time change.
"It was a big non-event," said Tim Pedersen, CEO of WestMed Rehab in Rapid City, S.D.
Tom Inman, president of Virginia Home Medical in Newport News, Va., echoed Pedersen's nonchalance: "It was like Y2K--no big deal."
That may be because a lot of HME isn't time sensitive. CPAP machines, for example, have clocks that keep track of when and how long they're used, but a time change won't usually affect how they operate, providers said.
"The time's just an hour off," said David Chestnut, who owns Pennyrile Home Medical in Cadiz, Ky.
The week following the time change, providers were still able to download reports from CPAPs to monitor compliance.
"The report may say a patient started using the device when he went to bed at 9 p.m. when he really went to bed at 10 p.m., but that doesn't matter," said Dave Mills, who co-owns First Choice in HomeCare in Chesapeake, Va.
Consumers did call providers for help changing the clocks on their HME, especially glucose meters. But, mysteriously, Mark Gielniak, vice president of Diabetes Plus in Warren, Mich., said he wasn't "inundated" with as many calls this time change.
"I'm not sure why," he said.
In its warning, the FDA stated concerns about insulin pumps, in particular, because they deliver insulin at scheduled intervals. But most providers don't supply pumps--only supplies.
The FDA had feared some equipment would need software or other patches to work properly.