by Rebecca Miller
Incontinence affects many of our families on the autism spectrum in various gradations across the lifespan. Some of our ASD friends will achieve full toileting after a delayed start, and some will not.
Toileting and incontinence are hot topics on the discussion boards amongst autism parents. We share our tips and tricks, but one common concern is COST.
Incontinence products are expensive and frankly are challenging to track down for the tweens–not quite big enough for an adult size Depends, and definitely too big for Pampers Pull-Ups. As an autism mom, I know the struggle. My oldest son wasn't toilet trained until he was five, and the youngest until he was almost 13. The struggle is REAL.
REAL-ly expensive! Even more so for my friends who will be incontinent for the rest of their life.
I had the privilege of meeting Jennifer Lee Drum of National Medical Supply at the Autism Resource Fair hosted by the Autism Community Store, and she shared with me a secret:
Medicaid pays for incontinence supplies.
I've been an autism mom for 20 years, and this was news to me! I checked with a couple other family caregiver moms, and they didn't know this either.
Why hasn't this information been shared? It's no one's fault. Our case managers have huge caseloads, and Medicaid is challenging on a good day. Our families need a source and an advocate to help us get our supplies.
As an autism mom who continues to have challenges with Medicaid, meeting Jennifer Lee Drum at the fair and hearing about her commitment to advocating for our ASD families and approaching each situation with compassion and patience was welcome news. Jennifer and her staff members will go the extra mile for our families to help obtain medical orders, get insurance approval, and set up delivery. I had the opportunity to sit with her and ask questions about National Medical Supply and its services.
Q: What brought you to the Autism Resource Fair?
A: I wanted to offer our service and products to the people you are helping. It was our first year at the fair, and I'm looking forward to learning more about the challenges autistic people encounter and how we can help them.
Q: How quickly could they expect their durable medical equipment to arrive if a family were to reach out to you for service?
A: It depends on how quickly the doctor authorizes the equipment. Once we get the approval, we can deliver it within a week if it is not a special order item.
Q: What does the process look like?
A: First, we need a doctor's order for approval for durable medical equipment or supplies. Then, we submit the order to the insurance carrier, such as Medicaid or Medicare. Then, we order the equipment and have it shipped within a week but sometimes longer if the item is custom-built.
Q: When we met at the fair, we talked about the best-kept secret. Can you tell me more about that?
A: Incontinence supplies! They are a tremendous help to families! Paying out of pocket for them can be so expensive. We can work with your doctor to get them approved. Once we get the approval, we can deliver all of your supplies monthly! This includes briefs, pull-ups, bed protectors, wipes, urinals, bed pans, wash, and male guards.
Q: When you think about durable medical equipment, one thinks about wheelchairs, strollers, oxygen, or walkers, but you carry safety beds. What is a safety bed?
A: We work with companies that build safety beds for special needs children and adults, as well as handicapped, disabled, and medically fragile individuals who need extra fall and entrapment protection while in bed.
Image: Pexels SHVets production
Q: Sometimes, our family members have additional concerns and need specific items for their young person. Those needs can rapidly change. Kids grow. How adaptable is your company when it comes to the flexibility of helping young people who can have sudden growth spurts and no longer can fit in the bed, wheelchair, or assistive device?
If you need incontinence supplies, medical equipment, or assistive devices, contact your doctor first to get an order. Visit National Medical Supply for fast, dependable, and compassionate service.
Thank you, Jennifer and the Perry family, for making this service available to our families!
Save the date and attend this information session at the Autism Community Store.
Medicaid Workshop: Expand your Definition of "Medical Supplies"
Presented by National Medical Supply
Saturday, July 23rd | 2:00 -3:00 PM
At the Autism Community Store
Discover how your Medicaid benefits can pay for your diapers, wipes, beds, communication devices, and more!
Many people don't realize that Medicaid will pay for some daily living supplies they routinely purchase themselves. Jennifer Drum from National Medical Supply will discuss all the products available to families free of charge through Medicaid and their process to help make your daily life simpler and more affordable.
Jennifer Drum started working with a couple of her National Medical Supply clients who are autistic and realized that this is a huge community that lacks full knowledge of the resources available to them. "Working with these parents really hit home for me. Being a single parent myself, I know how hard raising a child is; I cannot imagine the challenges they face when raising a child on the spectrum." She decided to focus on the needs of the autism community to help anyone and everyone get the supplies and equipment they need to make their life a little easier. Jennifer Drum - (720) 822-7426 | firstname.lastname@example.org