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American Osteopathic Association Calls for Eliminating Unsolicited Requests to Purchase Medical Equipment
Date:7/21/2014

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 additi
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SOURCE American Osteopathic Association
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