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Thread: Ostomy supplies...need help

  1. #1

    Ostomy supplies...need help

    I would like to help a sweet little elderly lady who I know who recently had a colostomy. Medicare won't pay for bags she can change each time forcing her to have someone clean them (she is nearly blind) or pay for them out of her meager savings. What a mess. Anyway, does anyone know of a place I might be able to get a good price on these things? I thought perhaps I might be able to buy a good supply online and tell her "someone gave them to me"?

    Any suggestions appreciated,
    Nancy
    "When you are in love with someone you want to be near him all the time, except when you are out buying things and charging them to him." Miss Piggy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    914
    Hi Nancy,

    I don't have any brilliant ideas about where to get ostomy supplies (other than medical supply stores), but I just wanted to say it is a complete shame that Medicare won't cover this lady's expenses. That is absolutely ridiculous. I'm Canadian so I don't know a lot about your Medicare system, but I would do some investigating. Given her poor eyesight, there might be a way to get Medicare to pay for it. You could speak to her physician (who might know a way to get coverage) and you could also contact the Association for the Blind.

    Good luck!

    Julie

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    3,448
    Does she have a home church (or do you)? They may have a "medical supply closest" that will supply these things to those who cannot afford them themselves...it never hurts to ask.
    "It covers your bread like a stinkyfishy tarp
    I know it isn't butter
    But I can't believe it's carp!"

    Kenny Blankenship and Vic Romano, Most Extreme Elimination Challenge

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Fair Oaks, CA
    Posts
    1,976
    Nancy, My mom runs a wound and ostomy care clinic. I'll check with her tonight to see if she has any reasonably priced ideas.

    ~Krista

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    5,791
    Nancy...I don't have any leads for you but just wanted to say what a nice thing to do for someone in need. There truly are angels every where and right now you are hers. I wish you luck in finding a source and I agree with JJ40 to contact the Association of the Blind.
    A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat---Old New York Proverb

    Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach him how to fish and you can get rid of him the entire weekend.---Zenna Schaffer


    Never eat more than you can lift.---Miss Piggy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Fair Oaks, CA
    Posts
    1,976
    WARNING: If you don't want to know details about ostomy supplies, don't read any further

    Nancy,

    This is probably more than you ever wanted to know about ostomy supplies, but here is the word from my mom. There are 2 types of colostomy bags: drainable and disposable. The drainable have a little clip at the bottom that you unclip to empty. The actual bag part stays attached, from what I understand. With the disposable type, the bag is detached and thrown away. When I read your post to my mom, she seemed to think your friend had the disposable type. (However, when I just re-read it, it sounds like she has the drainable.) In any case, Medicare should pay a portion of either type.

    Medicare regulation only allows for 2 disposables per day. Medicare will pay 80% for the cost of these supplies. (If she has a supplemental insurance, they should cover the remaining 20%) According to my mom, most colostomy patients can get by on the two bags per day that Medicare allows.

    One supplier is Edge Park Surgical http://www.edgepark.com/ You can order the supplies by phone or on the web. When ordering, you would need to know the lady's Medicare number so that you'd only have to pay for 20% of the supplies. The bags are actually quite expensive, more than $2 per bag. When ordering, you would also need to know the product number of the bags that she is currently using.

    This is my input here: If she has the drainable type, I think the part that goes into the body is different than the thing you need for the disposable type. (My mom referred to a "wafer" when she was talking about the disposable bag) Maybe before you try to buy the bags, you could check with her doctor or nurse to see if she can even be switched from the drainable to the disposable.

    I agree with MamaSue. This is a very kind thing for you to think of doing. I hope this information helps a little bit. Let me know if you want me to get any more information.

    ~Krista

  7. #7
    Thanks to everybody for your kind words and suggestions. Krista, your info is very helpful and will give me something to work with. I will try to find out more specifics and take it from there. As you can probably tell I came in kind of in the middle of this situation and just wanted to help where I could.
    Thanks again for helping,
    Nancy
    "When you are in love with someone you want to be near him all the time, except when you are out buying things and charging them to him." Miss Piggy

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Everett, WA (In our new home!)
    Posts
    4,409
    Another contact might be a nearby hospital's social workers. When my son was born and needed home health, they had all sorts of resources and were very eager to help. They can also advise you, like Krista and her mom, about the particulars of Medicare and what's covered. Much luck to you, dear...you're doing a wonderful thing!
    Just another Susan

    "Peggy, here I am tryin' to contain an outbreak, and you're drivin' the monkey to the airport!" Hank Hill

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