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Providers scramble to keep up 

Providers scramble to keep up 

YARMOUTH, Maine – Eighty-six percent of respondents to a recent HME Newspoll say they’re running low on oxygen concentrators, and 88% say they're having difficulty obtaining more. 

“Hospitals are full and discharging (COVID-19) patients to complete their recovery with home oxygen therapy,” wrote one respondent. “We are struggling to keep up with the supply and demand due to long delays in shipping of ordered products.” 

The majority of respondents (39%) report delays of six to 10 weeks, with others reporting delays of more than 10 weeks (32%) and up to six weeks (30%). 

“Every manufacturer is 10 to 12 weeks,” wrote David Howells of Grand View Medical Company in Pennsylvania. “We have not run out but are close and had to obtain M and H cylinders as back up.” 

Respondents report the shortage has also driven up their costs. 

“We are just getting surges now of COVID, but throughout the entire pandemic, it has taken months to get machines,” wrote Jenn Morrisroe of Dillon Medical Supply in Montana. “Not to mention they are costing more and some companies are putting surcharges on them for delivery.” 

With critical equipment in such short supply, respondents find themselves making the difficult choice of declining some business. 

“We are only using our inventory for our HMO contract patients,” wrote one poll respondent. “We often turn down other insurance patients.” 

To compensate for the shortage, respondents are placing larger orders than they normally would, but they worry about the impact of that long term.  

“Once the pandemic is over, this is going to create huge surplus and storage problems for us,” wrote Erik Sorensen of Ridgeview Home Medical Equipment in Minnesota. “Much like toilet paper, providers are being forced to stockpile concentrators because of the inadequate supply.” 


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