Good news arrived on April 30th when KUCDD-Parsons staff were notified that the collaborative effort between Kansas Adult Medical Services and the University of Kansas, Kansas Equipment Exchange (KEE) had been approved. Sara Sack is the Project Director and Sharon Morton is the Project Coordinator. Tony Grady and the Media staff will provide web support services.
This new venture is a “win-win project” for all ---- KU, persons with disabilities, taxpayers, and state government. The five regional Assistive Technology Access Sites will work with the Independent Living Centers, disability organizations, civic, and faith-based organizations to develop a responsive equipment pick-up, clean-up, and delivery system. The goal for the program is to get high quality assistive technology to people as quickly as possible without charge. Although the project has been operating for less than a month, consumers have already reported their satisfaction with this new reuse effort. One gentleman called to report that his new power wheelchair was “a lifesaver” and offered to volunteer at the Wichita AT Access Site and wanted to add project staff to his Christmas list!
As of June 1, 2002, any durable medical equipment purchased by Medicaid will remain the property of the state of Kansas. KEE staff will contact the recipient shortly after they have received the new equipment to find out if it is meeting their needs or if additional training or support is needed to get maximum benefit from the device. When the recipients no longer need the equipment, they are to contact the KEE toll free number (866-666-1470) to arrange to have the equipment picked up. Members from the regional Kansas Equipment Exchange network pick up the item, clean, and repair it as necessary, or work with the KEE Coordinator to have a vendor refurbish the device. The KEE Coordinator checks the applications and arranges to recycle the equipment to another consumer. The equipment is redistributed, at no cost, to “Medicaid beneficiaries, Medicaid eligible, or those likely to become eligible for Medicaid.” Available equipment and equipment wanted lists will be available on the project website.
While the program is just in its infancy, KEE has had many calls inquiring about the program and equipment availability. One state has already called wanting to replicate this new project! For more information contact Sharon Morton, KEE Program Coordinator, at email@example.com or by calling 1-866-666-1470.