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What HME Suppliers Need To Know About Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Yesterday, states reached out to President Trump asking to empty the federal stockpile of PPE and medical supplies. See the full article here. We need to ensure home medical equipment suppliers receive priority access to critical supplies during this crisis to assist patients in healing at home.
It is crucial that HME suppliers reach out to their county and state health departments today, letting them know what your company is doing to help during this crisis and your PPE supply needs to ensure patient and employee safety.
What Steps Should I Take?
  • Today, call your state and county health departments. You can find a list of county and state health departments in each state by clicking on this link, www.naccho.org/membership/lhd-directory?searchType=standard&lhd-state=IA#card-filter.
  • Have a personal contact with your county health department and state health departments.
  • Let them know your information and company’s information. Explain your business model and the importance of home medical suppliers during this crisis. They may not understand how HMEs work.
  • Let them know you need assistance with necessary supplies such as PPE in order to keep your patients and employees safe.
Please Take These Necessary Steps Today!
Based on the current COVID-19 situation and availability of PPE, CDC has specific recommendations, summarized below. As we learn more about COVID-19 and as the needs of the response or availability of PPE within U.S. healthcare facilities changes, we will update our guidance.
Who Needs PPE: Patients with confirmed or possible SARS-CoV-2 infection should wear a facemask when being evaluated medically.
Healthcare personnel should adhere to Standard and Transmission-Based Precautions when caring for patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Recommended PPE is described in the Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) or Persons Under Investigation for COVID-19 in Healthcare Settings.
Who Does Not Need PPE: CDC does NOT currently recommend the general public use face masks. Instead, CDC recommends following everyday preventive actions, such as washing your hands, covering your cough, and staying home when you are sick.
Emergency Use Authorization of Respiratory Protective Devices: On Feb. 4, 2020, the HHS Secretary declared that circumstances exist to justify the authorization of emergency use of additional respiratory protective devices in healthcare settings during the COVID-19 outbreak. Manufacturers, facilities, and local/state jurisdictions with respirators held in stockpile can submit a request to FDA in order to have their products added to the Emergency Use Authorization. Healthcare personnel can access a list of authorized respirators in Appendix B. More information can be found on FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization website.
CDC Resources