WATERLOO, Iowa (June 4, 2019)–Patients and caregivers are seeing delays in receiving equipment and supplies, a ripple effect from Medicare policy, and increases in out-of-pocket expenses, according to an informal social media study conducted by People for Quality Care (PFQC), a division of VGM Group.
Respondents to the survey reported having to wait upwards of two weeks for equipment and supplies.

“It is unacceptable for people to be forced to go without their wheelchairs and other essential medical equipment that they need to manage their mobility and other medical needs at home,” says Rose Schafhauser, state association partner for PFQC and executive director of the Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Service and the Southwest Medical Equipment Suppliers Association.

The survey also confirmed that no matter what type of medical coverage the respondent has, either Medicare or private insurance, it is still impacting patients’ ability to get home medical equipment and supplies. Nearly one in four survey respondents who were not on Medicare have challenges in getting the medical equipment and supplies they need.

“The impact of Medicare is far-reaching as it is often the benchmark for other payors, such as children and adults with Medicaid, active military families with TRICARE, and many more,” explains Ashley Plauché, legislative partner for PFQC and manager of member and public relations at AAHomecare. “The survey results indicate an alarming trend of reduced access across the board – something that must be dealt with at the source to ensure that all people have access to equipment, services, and support they require.”

In addition, more than half of respondents saw an increase in out-of-pocket expenses.

People for Quality Care works to remove barriers by encouraging patients and caregivers to reach out to their elected officials. To send a letter to your member of Congress, visit peopleforqualitycare.org and click “take action.”