Kansas Equipment Exchange: Increasing Access to Durable Medical Equipment
Kansas Adult Medical Services and the Assistive Technology for Kansans Project of the University of Kansas at Parsons are working together to operate a statewide durable medical equipment (DME) reuse program. Kansas Equipment Exchange (KEE) is designed to quickly move DME that is not being used and that is still in good shape (or could be returned to good shape) to Kansans who need equipment.
Durable medical equipment such as manual and powered wheelchairs, power operated vehicles, patient’s lifts, home care beds, standers, and gait trainers, communication devices, and other devices are tracked upon their initial purchase. An inventory barcode is placed on the device by the vendor and the program is explained to the customer at the time the device is purchased/delivered. The program coordinator contacts each customer at one-month post acquisition and again seven months after acquiring the device. Information regarding satisfaction with the evaluation/selection of the device process, need for training or maintenance/repair assistance, and impact of technology on independence, safety, and productivity is collected and analyzed by the project. This information is used by Medicaid and ATK to guide program development.
At any point if it is determined that the device is no longer being used, the coordinator contacts the Reuse Team from that area to arrange for pick up of the device. Customers are instructed to call 1-866-666-1470 (toll free) to request pick up if they no longer need their device/s. The five regional Assistive Technology Access Sites affiliated with the Assistive Technology for Kansans project work with a minimum of ten organizations in their region to operate regional reuse teams that can pick up, clean up and conduct minor maintenance an repair, and deliver equipment. If more substantial maintenance is needed to return equipment to good working order, authorized repair is conducted by certified durable medial equipment vendors.
The coordinator of the project keeps an electronic inventory of available equipment and matches the technology to customers who have requested equipment. Reassignment of equipment is made by the coordinator based on applications received by eligible Kansans. The intent of the program is for consumers to have access to needed equipment at no cost, in the following priority: 1) Medicaid beneficiaries, 2) Medicaid eligibles, 3) those likely to become eligible for Medicaid, and 4) those eligible for limited medical coverage by virtue of their limited income and assets, their disability as determined by SRS and their pending application for disability through the Social Security Act. If the equipment is not reassigned to eligible Kansans within six months, the equipment is transferred to free equipment loan closets that operate within the region.
For more information on the Kansas Equipment Exchange visit the Assistive Technology for Kansans project website at www.atk.ku.edu or call 1-866-666-1470 or 620-421-4514.
Kansas Department of Health and Environment