CHICAGO, July 21, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Companies that supply Durable Medical Equipment, like diabetic testing supplies and braces, often contact consumers directly about purchasing such supplies even if a physician has not authorized such use. The American Osteopathic Association's House of Delegates voted to support efforts to eliminate unsolicited requests from companies that supply Durable Medical Equipment unless such equipment has been prescribed and discussed between the physician and the patient.
Typically Durable Medical Equipment companies ask patients a few questions to determine which medical supplies and equipment their insurance provider might cover. Direct to consumer solicitation occurs when medical suppliers contact consumers directly, encouraging them to request equipment from their physicians and then repeatedly contact the physician to get the items prescribed. The companies then contact the physician's office in an attempt to obtain an order for these supplies.
"Not only can these requests be for equipment patients do not need but they could also be for a medical condition that patients either do not have or have not discussed with their physician," says Cleanne Cass, DO, a board-certified family physician in Dayton, Ohio. "Unsolicited advertising of the medical supplies and equipment could cause undue confusion for patients. Instead, physicians should discuss with their patients what medical supplies are essential for care and prescribe that equipment themselves."
What is a DO?
DOs are licensed physicians who can prescribe medication and practice in all specialty areas, including surgery, in the United States. They complete approximately four years of medical school followed by graduate medical education through internship and residency programs typically lasting three to eight years. In addition, DOs receive extra training in the musculoskeletal system, providing them with an in-depth knowledge of the ways that illness or injury in one part of the body can affect another. As one of the fastest-growing segments of health care professionals in the nation, the number of DOs has grown more than 200% during the past 25 years.
About the House of Delegates
The AOA's House of Delegates, comprised of more than 500 delegates representing osteopathic state medical associations, specialty societies, interns, residents and students from throughout the country, meets annually in July to set organizational policies and elect new officers.
About the American Osteopathic Association
The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) proudly represents its professional family of more than 104,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students; promotes public health; encourages scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body for DOs; is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools; and has federal authority to accredit hospitals and other health care facilities. More information on DOs/osteopathic medicine can be found at www.osteopathic.org.
SOURCE American Osteopathic Association