Providers power up during hurricane

Thursday, September 1, 2011

AAHomecare: 'The companies receive no extra compensation from Medicare for providing emergency services'

WASHINGTON - HME providers spanning the East Coast took extra steps to make sure patients who lost power during Hurricane Irene had the medical attention they needed.

AAHomecare sent out a press release last week, highlighting the actions of a handful of these providers, including:

Homecare Concepts

This provider in Farmingdale, N.Y., lost power but its employees have been coordinating care and service via cell phone to more than 100 patients also without power in the New York City area. "Those who were without power had additional gas (oxygen) cylinders delivered to them," stated Joe Candiano in a release. "It wasn't always easy as the guys were dodging downed trees and power lines to get to homes. This is not just a nine to five job."

Home MediService

This provider in Havre de Grace, Md., received at least 58 hurricane-related calls over the weekend and the company made two dozen trips to visit oxygen users on Sunday alone. "Many of our patients were very impressed that their oxygen company would take the time to call them and make sure they had adequate back-up," stated Mark Richardson in the release.

EME Medical Equipment

This provider in Ephrate, Pa., put all delivery, clinical and management staff on alert for the weekend and lined up gas and liquid oxygen supplies for patients. Ted Gress says, despite high winds and heavy rains, the company delivered extra oxygen supplies to 10 patients on Sunday.

AAHomecare stated in the release: "These are just some of the types of extra steps taken by hundreds of durable medical equipment providers nationwide during emergencies--whether cause by hurricanes, tornadoes, excessive heat, flooding, ice storms or heavy shows. The companies receive no extra compensation from Medicare for providing emergency services."