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Disaster Preparedness: Speak up about expense

Disaster Preparedness: Speak up about expense

Emily harkenQ. Are there any efforts to improve processes during a disaster?  

A. Recently, the Emergency Preparedness for HME Suppliers Committee, along with VGM and AAHomecare, has been encouraging DMEPOS suppliers to take a survey with questions regarding all the unthought-of expenses associated with a disaster. The committee has been working to illustrate to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CMS and state/federal emergency groups the lost dollars and additional expenses incurred before, during and after a disaster. DMEPOS suppliers incur increased financial expenses that are not recouped by any insurance and often not recouped by federal or state disaster aid. Participation from DMEPOS suppliers with these surveys is so important. 

The main focuses of the committee have been improved resources and guidance when a disaster strikes. Additionally, our goal is for improved reimbursement and leniency on guidelines for DMEPOS suppliers when a disaster strikes. It’s vital that insurances like CMS understand the increased financial burden that suppliers face in response to taking care of beneficiaries at home with life sustaining medical equipment.  

The committee is currently reviewing and organizing the data from the survey, with a plan to make recommendations to CMS on reimbursement solutions to account for these extra unexpected expenses. Additionally, responses will be summarized and sent to CMS. We look forward to sharing the report with everyone once completed. Stay tuned for these updates.  

Do not forget, there are many disaster resources available to you on the committee’s website:  

Emily Harken is director of operations for VGM Government Relations. Reach her at


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