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Providers scramble with significant backlogs

Providers scramble with significant backlogs

poll logoYARMOUTH, Maine – With delays on equipment orders stretching past 60 days or more, respondents to a recent HME Newspoll say they must stay nimble to manage their businesses – and their patients. 

Thirty percent of respondents report backlogs of 90 days or more and another 19% report backlogs of 60 days or more. 

“We are finding delays with all the product categories except supplies, but respiratory has the most impact on our referrals and customers,” wrote Lori Valentine, system director, home medical equipment, Memorial Home Medical Supply in Springfield, ll. “(We’re) attempting to find other vendors within some product categories. We have also begun to forward order up to six months.” 

Forty-five percent of respondents report backlogs of 31-60 days. 

In addition to diversifying their product sources, providers are refurbishing older equipment, retrieving devices from non-compliant patients and triaging certain patients. 

“(We’re) prioritizing severe patients, keeping a few CPAPs on the shelf for emergency setups,” wrote one respondent.  

That’s still not enough for the nearly three quarters of respondents (74%) who say respiratory products, CPAPs in particular, are the hardest to come by. 

“(We) have a list of over 150 waiting on CPAP setups,” wrote one respondent. “We cannot obtain CPAP units from any vendor currently.” 

It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when manufacturers are often even unable to provide ship dates, say 90% of respondents. 

“The CPAPs have an allotment and we are receiving them the next month,” wrote one respondent. “Bent metals are on true back order and they do give an ‘estimate’ date of shipment, but that has not been accurate so far.” 

Adding insult to injury: The additional costs providers have had to shoulder in recent months, including price increases and “COVID surcharges,” respondents say. 

“An additional $75 to $100 surcharge for items is ridiculous,” wrote Brian Dirksen, manager, Genesis Home Medical Equipment, in Davenport, Iowa.  

At the end of the day, respondents say they are doing their best to power through. 

“Not sure what we can do besides informing our customers of these delays,” said Ted Florack, president, Bio-Med Express Ltd. Baldwinsville, N.Y. “I’m hopeful we can survive these times.”


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