Have POC, will travel

Thursday, April 30, 2009

As providers notify their oxygen patients about the new rule for flying with POCs, they’ll want to keep a few things in mind, sources say.

“Any airline that has a starting point or an ending point in the United States will be required to allow patients to use approved POCs,” said Kim Snyder, U.S. marketing manager, home respiratory care, Philips Respironics.

It may cost you

Despite relaxing regulations, passengers who use POCs onboard planes may still have to pay fees. Some airlines charge anywhere from $25 to $100 to cover clinical assessments.

“This has blindsided a lot of folks,” said Kelly Riley, director of The MED Group’s National Respiratory Network.

Don’t let the pressure get to you

Because cabins are pressurized to 8,000 feet regardless of a plane’s altitude, providers should explore whether patients, based on the severity of their condition, would benefit from a POC that can operate at higher altitudes, industry sources said.