Winter: A coldie but a goodie


This past month, my cold calls have been full of conversations about two things: The ALJ kerfuffle Theresa wrote about a little while ago, and the weather.

“It’s been a very unusual winter,” Carolyn Sluiter at Freeport Home Medical told me, in a bit of an understatement. 

The Midwest, (where Sluiter is based, in Freeport, Ill.) has seen double-digit negative temperatures this winter. Even in Maine, we call that "wicked cold."

Freeport has had to change come delivery dates, but says providing HME hasn’t been as tough, since oxygen patients aren’t going out and therefore don’t need refills as often. 

It’s also been pretty quiet in the store—which works out, since her staff has also had trouble coming in on winter’s worst days. 

Provider James Hagan also says there’ve been few issues at Jeffersonville, Ind.-based Community Home Medical. Luckily, he’s seen more snow than ice, and has been able to get his deliveries out without incident. Expecting harsher weather, he stocked up on extra oxygen tanks that he hasn’t had to deliver. 

“It cost me a couple hundred to be proactive, and we ate that cost,” he said. “But we had to make sure we had what our patients needed.” 

The biggest problems for provider Dave Beshoar, president of Medserv Equipment, based in Palatine, Ill., have been trying to deliver amidst the drifting snow. 

“We have to use caution, and drive slow,” he said. 

So, for the most part, providers say it’s normal to complain about the extreme cold, but they’ve actually been doing fine.

Beshoar summed it up: “Most people expect cold in the winter.”