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Archive for September, 2017

Durable goods access changes concerns go on

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 12:09 PM  posted by jbuytaert

by  // September 8th, 2017

Access to needed medical equipment and supplies continues to cause problems for many people with disabilities. The latest fight in Minnesota is to repeal a law which affects incontinence supplies. The law takes effect July 1, 2018.

The Midwest Association of Medical Equipment Suppliers (MAMES), its members and other advocates are asking to overturn a law requiring Minnesota to bid out incontinence products. The law was tucked into the 2017 health and human service omnibus bill in the final hours of the legislative session. Bill Amberg, who is MAMES’ lobbyist, said member medical supply dealers are frustrated that the bill addition came without debate or discussing. “There wasn’t even a conversation with stakeholders.”

MAMES and its allies are working to overturn the bid requirement before it takes effect next year. That could happen during the 2018 legislative session.

Amberg said that if the change goes into effect next year, it would be yet another blow to Minnesota’s medical supply and durable medical equipment providers. More than half a dozen companies have closed during the past year including longtime Twin Cities firm Key Medical Supply. Key had waged a long and ultimately unsuccessful legal battle over the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) competitive bidding program as it related to enteral nutrition supplies or feeding tubes.

It will also inconvenience many people who need the incontinence supplies for daily living. “It just gets tougher for people with disabilities and senior citizens,” Amberg said. “They can’t find caregivers, they can’t have reliable supplies and medical equipment for their daily lives. It’s hard to talk about people staying in their home communities on one hand and forcing them out on the other.” Read more

COPD Care Bundle Aligns With COPD National Action Plan

Friday, September 15, 2017 @ 08:09 AM  posted by jbuytaert

From the American Association for Respiratory Care – September 14, 2017

Developed at the request of Congress by the National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute, the first ever published COPD National Action Plan was released on May 23, 2017 with input from the AARC, COPD Foundation, and the broad COPD community. The plan provides an outline for respiratory therapists and others to take coordinated actions to improve public awareness, management, and collaboration on research for COPD.

At the University of Cincinnati Medical Center (UCMC), a multidisciplinary team of respiratory therapists, physicians, pharmacists, social workers, and nurses have assembled to develop and implement a plan aimed at mitigating system-level failures, with the goal of reducing COPD inpatient readmission using a customized COPD care bundle.

Between October of 2015 and July of 2016, the overall 30 day all-cause COPD readmission rate fell from 22.7% to 14.7%, with nearly a 90% adherence to the COPD bundle components. For patients who had the complete COPD care bundle the readmission rate was even lower, at 10.9%.

Respiratory therapists were instrumental in the development of the bundle, from the very beginning stages of planning through the literature review, testing, training and implementation.

Today at UCMC respiratory therapists are responsible for carrying out two out of five components of the COPD care bundle: personalized inhaler education centered on discharged medications (based on insurance compatible inhaler brands) and the provision of standardized discharge instructions to the patient.

Among the obstacles we had to overcome to get to this point were variability of inhaler education among staff, amount of additional time to perform education above existing workload, standardizing inhaler handouts for patients and family to take home, and utilization of the EMR for RT notification of inhaler instructions.

The next phase of this project is to carry the momentum gained from the inpatient experience to the emergency department, main campus ambulatory clinics, and beyond.

To learn more about the UCMC inpatient COPD care bundle, read the abstract of their study published ahead of print by BMJ Quality & Safety on July 21.

Post by Jonathan Ko, BS, RRT-NPS, AE-C. Jonathan Ko is clinical manager for respiratory care at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in Cincinnati, OH. He was a co-author on the BMJ Quality & Safety study.

Introducing Disability Hub MN

Friday, September 1, 2017 @ 11:09 AM  posted by jbuytaert


Disability Linkage Line (DLL) is now Disability Hub MN on the phone and, for the first time, online!

Disability Hub MN is a free statewide resource network that helps people with disabilities solve problems, navigate the system and plan for the future. Since launching in 2006, DLL has evolved to offer more tools and services to make it easier for people with disabilities to live their best life, their way — a true “hub” of support.

With the new name comes:

  • A stronger focus on person-centered principles
  • Easier discovery of resources, options and tools
  • More opportunities for communication and engagement

Though the name has changed, the phone number remains the same: 1-866-333-2466.

To check out the Hub, visit Here, you can chat with options counselors and read about topics such as work, home, health and money. Under the “Hub partners” tab, you’ll find additional resources for professionals. These include:

  • Links to planning tools, such as DB101
  • Resources to help you talk about work and facilitate successful employment outcomes
  • Tools and strategies to balance work and benefits
  • Promotional materials, including sample social media posts, Hub logos and a request form for magnets and other “swag”

Of course, this is just the beginning. New toolkits, materials and information will be added to the Hub over time.

We invite you to help us promote Disability Hub MN to people with disabilities and those who support them. Together, we can help people with disabilities create their best lives.

Minnesota Council on Disability

121 East 7th Place, Suite 107

St. Paul, MN, 55101

O: 651-361-7800

O: 800-945-8913

F: 651-296-5935

Your Policy Training and Technical Resource |