Online Program

Accessing needed durable medical equipment for people living with paralysis: The role of health insurance

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 11:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Heidi Pitts, PhD candidate, Center for Development & Disability, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, NM
Brian S. Armour, PhD, NCBDDD/DHDD/Disability and Health Team, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
The relationship of disability costs to function for the subpopulation of those people with disabilities living with paralysis has been recognized for some time (Hamilton, et al., 1999). Typically a portion of DME is covered by health insurance, but the coverage may not be sufficient to adequately meet the needs of people with paralysis. In this session we will present preliminary data from a national, random-digit dial survey of over 70,000 households initiated in 2012 but still ongoing, to assess DME needs for the population with paralysis and determine if they have what they consider to be the necessary DME for their condition. For those with unmet needs, we explore what is lacking and why, accounting for health insurance coverage as one explanatory factor in the provision of DME. This may be of interest to policymakers and others as previous research has suggested that assistive technology such as DME may reduce health care costs and reduce the limitations the population with paralysis face in their daily lives, among other benefits (Wolff et al, 2005).

Learning Areas:


Learning Objectives:
Describe durable medical equipment (DME) needs of the populationof people living with paralysis Assess the relationship association between DME provision and health insurance coverage

Keyword(s): Data/Surveillance

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have twenty five years of experience in economic analysis of survey data.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.