Protecting one’s personal information and protecting yourself from intruders

This article was in the Yakima Herald today and really bothers us because it violates a sense of trust even though it is another medical supplier in town. First, THIS WAS NOT A HOWARD’S CUSTOMER. I want to share with you a few thoughts I have gleaned from this:

1. The people doing this MUST be very familiar with the oxygen industry either working for the current medical supplier at one time or or another one at one time or another.

2. They must have had or known someone with inside knowledge of lists.

3. I’m 99.99 positive no Howard’s customers are involved because all of our lists are secured via several HIPPA approved methods.

If you are ever curious about a delivery, always call your local medical supply and ask them. In our case, we always call at least an hour in advance letting you know we are coming to your house to service your equipment. If you ever want to verify this, you can call our main phone number at 509-654-9899 and see if this is a scheduled visit. All of our delivery technicians also have official Howard’s name-tags, our delivery technicians all have business cards with their pictures on them, and most of our vehicles are marked with Howard’s logos (we have one new van that needs to be detailed and this will happen in the next month). Our hearts go out for the patients involved in this instance and the other local supplier that this happened to because this is a breach of trust.

COPD Costs rising in Yakima

COPD costs are rising in healthcare in the Yakima Valley.  A new article from HME news just came out) talks about how much the costs have risen. This is something we have seen with our customers and patients.

Our COPD patients are much more likely to be our CPAP/BIPAP customers and patients as well as oxygen. One of the keys to COPD that we all know is prevention and keep the disease from getting worse.  The worse thing someone with COPD can do is ignore it hoping it goes away.

At Howard’s, one of the ways we can come alongside our providers and patients is we offer home oximetry tests.  This is when we put a small electrode on your finger and test how much oxygen you have in your red blood cells throughout the night.  Usually somewhere should run between 94-99% at all times.  If someone’s level drops below 90% you are not thinking as quickly and this can make for a less-restful sleep.  An even more significant drop and a patient is at risk for stroke or heart failure.

If you or a loved one would like to have someone tested with an overnight oximetry, contact your local doctor and ask him or her to write a prescription for an oximetry test.  They are covered by most insurances and will let you know if your oxygen level is at a health level or not throughout the night.