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Archive for August, 2019


Tuesday, August 20, 2019 @ 08:08 AM  posted by jbuytaert

1. Be Prepared: Pack ostomy supplies in at least two places – carry-on and checked luggage. Take extra supplies in case you are stranded where supplies may not be available. For domestic flights, scissors are allowed in your carry-on luggage as long as the cutting edge is no longer than 4 inches (2.4 inches within Canada, check other foreign nation rules). Consider having pre-cut pouches for convenience and international travel. And of course empty your pouch before arriving for a trip. Be aware that the 3-1-1 Liquids Rule (also see TSA Video) requires that items classified as liquid, gel, aerosol, cream or paste must be carried in containers no larger than 100 mL (3.4 ounces). If your medical condition requires larger quantities and must be carried on board the plane they are allowable, but must be declared at the security checkpoint and require additional screening.

2. Request Passenger Support: Travelers with disabilities and those with medical conditions such as an ostomy who have concerns about airport screening should contact TSA Cares at least 72 hours before travel: toll-free at (855) 787-2227 (Federal Relay 711) or email TSA Cares agents provide callers with information about what to expect during screening so that travelers may better prepare. They can also provide a flight itinerary and will coordinate assistance available from a Passenger Support Specialist (PSS) and/or customer service manager at the airport. Airports differ on the level of assistance offered.

3. Get a Notification Card: Download our printable travel communication card. This is NOT a special security pass but it is a way to communicate discreetly to agents that you have an ostomy. You can also show a note from your physician explaining any of your medical conditions.

4. Consider TSA Pre-Check: You may find shorter lines and wait times by enrolling (for a fee) in TSA Pre✓®. Passengers still undergo screening at the checkpoint, but they do not need to remove shoes, laptops, 3-1-1 liquids, belts, or light jackets during the screening process at participating airports. TSA Officers may still swab your hands for explosives or do a pat-down.

5. Arrive Early: All travelers should arrive at least two hours early for domestic and three hours early for international flights. Allow plenty of time to empty your pouch if needed to help ease the security screening process.

6. Communicate at the Start: At the beginning of the screening process inform the TSA officer that you have an ostomy pouch attached to your body and where it is located. You may provide the officer with the TSA notification card or other medical documentation to describe your condition. Read more

From HME Business 6/1/2019

Portable oxygen concentrator (POC) use in the United States has exploded over the years. As an example, according to Medicare HCPCS claims data, the portable oxygen concentrator code E1392 has been in use since 2007. In 2007, there were an estimated 1,500 patients receiving a POC billed to Medicare, and in 2016 approximately 114,400 beneficiaries received POCs in 2016.

That’s not surprising what POC’s mean for patients. The core value of the POC for patients has been that it is a self-generating oxygen system they can take with them. Like a stationary concentrator, a POC takes room air and through an electro-chemical process strips away the nitrogen that is part of that air to deliver concentrated oxygen. However, instead of being tethered to a stationary device, patients can go where they want and carry out daily activities. Now patients can get outside, and lead a fuller, more active lifestyle than they could without the portable oxygen concentrator. They can much more easily spend longer periods away from home and can even travel.

And of course, for providers, the upsides are also clear: With no tanks that need to be refilled, costly delivery overhead has been slashed. No longer do oxygen providers have to maintain vehicle fleet operations to continually distribute tanks. Even with the higher up-front costs of the POCs themselves, the positive impact to the bottom line is considerable.

However, a patient education challenge has arisen that oxygen providers need to address.


So what’s the challenge? To start, in cases with highly ambulatory and active patients, their POC often becomes their primary means to derive their long-term oxygen therapy. Conversely, there are patients who receive POCs but don’t use them. This presents a twin educational challenge providers must address: First, how do they educate the patients who aren’t using their POCs as often as they should on how to use the devices as well as actually getting out and using them? Second, how do they get the heavy users to keep being “super users,” but also understand their device limitations?


Retaining a respiratory therapist on staff is a critical education asset. Contracting with entrepreneur RTs clearly works and is a model used regularly, but a full-time RT can bring improved accountability for the care a provider offers, and enhance its patient education and provide disease management to the patient so that they better adhere to their treatment and benefit from it.

Read more