Phone: (651) 644-9770

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

All lower extremity compression is not created equally!

Friday, November 2, 2018 @ 11:11 AM  posted by jbuytaert

TED Hose

TED (Thrombo-Embolic Deterrent Hose) stockings may be prescribed to people who are in bed. For these people, the risk of a blood clot developing in their legs is a main concern. TED hose help reduce this risk by administering pressure on the lower part of the leg and feet – with the most compression occurring at the calf muscle.

Compression Socks

Compression socks are for people who are ambulatory or with circulatory problems:

  • venous insufficiency
  • lymphedema
  • varicose veins
  • wounds

For some people, this can be a temporary condition during pregnancy, for others it is chronic. Compression levels range from 15 to 20 mmHG up to 60 mmHg (above 20 mmHg is considered prescription strength). Compression socks help keep blood from pooling in the ankles, where the pressure is the greatest.

To measure for compression socks:

  • Ankle measurement
  • Calf, around largest area
  • Thigh for thigh-high socks
  • Length of sock
  • Compression strength in mmHg

You can purchase compression socks at Handi Medical Supply

Twin Cities                              Coon Rapids                            Mankato
651-644-9770                          651-789-5858                          507-779-7560

www.handimedical.com

Thursday, November 1, 2018 @ 01:11 PM  posted by jbuytaert

Courtesy of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparties – www.nimhd.nih.gov

Pain is among the top reasons that people go to a doctor.1 It affects quality of life and can lead to depression, anxiety, and poor sleep. Medications are often the first-line treatment for pain, but they can also cause serious side effects. Alternative treatments exist but are not available to all populations, especially rural and socioeconomically disadvantaged people.

“It’s a significant challenge for rural patients to have access to health care,” says George K. Lewis, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of ZetrOZ Systems, LLC. Instead of engaging in physical therapy multiple days a week, rural patients with joint pain may find it easier to take narcotics or receive injections every few months. Since 2013, NIMHD has funded studies led by Dr. Lewis to explore other options for pain management. Dr. Lewis’s research has focused on developing and testing wearable ultrasound devices for osteoarthritic pain, particularly in disadvantaged rural populations in upstate New York.

Close-up view of SAM® device placed on right outer knee, two fingers pointingVeteran patient in North Carolina using SAM® on knee

Osteoarthritis is a very common disease in which the cushioning around the joints wears down. It affects more than 30 million Americans, causing them chronic pain and making it hard for them to be active. People with this disease may manage their symptoms through weight loss, physical therapy, and medications to reduce pain and swelling.

Read more

Handi Medical is going strong

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 @ 10:09 AM  posted by jbuytaert

by  // September 8th, 2018

Thirty years ago Mary Miller was studying nursing and working as a personal care assistant to Darcy Pohland, a Twin Cities reporter who had broken her neck in a diving accident. When Miller called for medical supplies, she would often have to wait two weeks for delivery. When a wheelchair needed repair, she was told it would be a month-long wait.

Upset at the length of time it took for services and products to be delivered, Miller thought there had to be a better way. “If you think you can do it better, do it yourself,” her grandfather told her. He loaned her $15,000 to start Handi Medical Supply in Golden Valley.

That business has expanded to 110 employees, a central location at 2505 University Ave. W., St. Paul and a Mankato branch. But the mission to enrich lives is the same one Mary (Miller) Benhardus began with. She and her husband Shann co-own the medical supply company that has endured and prospered over the past three decades.

Handi hasn’t forgotten its roots, as three conference rooms are named after people who have made a difference in company history. One honors Mary’s grandfather, who loaned her the money to start the business; one is named after company inspiration Pohland, and one is named after Charlie Smith Jr., founder of Access Press.

The showroom of Handi Medical Supply is expanding from 5,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet once remodeling is done, said Laurie Tomaszewski, chief marketing officer. She was hired as a respiratory therapist 13 years ago.

Requests for supplies typically come through a clinic, a transition care unit or a home care nurse. With a larger showroom, more client people can view a needed product and pick it up or have it delivered that same day.

“The company started out very small, working with people who used wheelchairs,” Tomaszewski said. “Today we have everything for any kind of ostomy. We carry any kind of wound supplies, catheters, adult incontinence supplies. We have CPAP products, supplies for tracheotomies.”

Handi recently started its Handi Home Living Solutions division to provide home modifications. “We do so much with complex rehab and wheelchairs,” Tomaszewski said. “If people have a chair and need to get in and out of their home, we remodel the home, do the bathrooms and showers.” An assistant technology professional visits the home to see what is needed.

“We think the right thing to do is to have people who are properly trained so we can help people to be well and be safe in their homes,” Tomaszewski said.

Keeping any business growing with the same owners and name is a feat in itself, but another challenge are Medicare regulations. A concern is that the regulations affect product quality, a key focus for Handi.

“Medicare, in all its glory, a few years ago came out with a program called competitive bidding,” Tomaszewski said. “For certain product lines we had to fill out a request for proposal and say what we would be able to be paid for these items. But it was not guaranteed you would get that price. There were nine categories offered, but we would not be able to offer a quality product, so we turned some down.”

“It looks like this program may be going away next year, but Medicare is not willing to do anything with the pricing. I think Medicare has been hearing there are access issues, and some people have been waiting for weeks to get items. They need to do something, but will it be enough? A lot of small businesses have had to close their doors because of what Medicare has done.” But Handi has persevered. Many of its employees have been working for decades. “Five years ago we won the Better Business Bureau Integrity Award, and we were nominated again this year,” Tomaszewski said.

A strong focus on supporting and rewarding employees is paired with an equally strong focus on clients and disability groups. Handi recently raised about $10,000 for the National MS Society through a golf tournament.

Looking at the long-term success of Handi, Tomaszewski gives much credit to the owners. “We base our decisions on
doing the right thing for the customers and our employees,” she said. “Sometimes we are not making much money on our products, but we are doing the right thing.” She said quality brand names are important, as is informing customers about product use.

What has been the secret to Handi Medical Supply’s success for the past 30 years? “We feel like we’re doing the right thing,” Tomaszewski said.

Incontinence needs no longer at risk; state drops program

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 @ 10:09 AM  posted by jbuytaert

Courtesy of Access Press
by  // September 8th, 2018

Minnesotans with disabilities who rely on incontinence products can continue to choose items that best meet their needs. A controversial medical supply program that was to start September 1 was dropped by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). The decision to drop the Medicaid PreferredIncontinence Products Program was made just before a temporary restraining order was issued against the program August 24.

The Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services and Supplies (MAMES) took DHS and DHS Commissioner Emily Johnson Piper to court to stop the program. MAMES’ intent was to prevent DHS from granting bids to a supplier or suppliers. A hearing was held before Ramsey County District Court Judge Leonardo Castro August 16 in St. Paul, with more than two dozen people looking on. After listening to both sides and asking a number of procedural and technical questions about the proposed state program, how the program was created and the
program’s potential impacts, Castro took the matter under advisement before issuing his ruling.

“DHS decided to pull back the request for proposals before the court acted,” Piper said in a statement. “We are committed to ensuring that Medicaid enrollees receive high-quality products and that state funds are used responsibly as we comply with the legislative mandate to purchase incontinence products in bulk.” While there is satisfaction with the outcome, medical supply companies and disability advocates around Minnesota are still unhappy with the entire process. “MAMES members are grateful that the court issued the injunction, but are extremely frustrated that the (Department of Human Services) forced the provider and disability communities to spend so much time, energy and money fighting this ill-conceived program,” said Tom Jamison, president of Lake
Superior Medical Equipment, Inc. in Duluth. Jamison chairs the MAMES Legislative Committee. Read more