We recently spoke with Juana Rivera, who together with her family, owns AWA Medical Supplies located at 272 Main Street in Danbury, CT.  Ms. Rivera shared some great insight on how the medical supply business can assist injured parties and their families in making their lives more comfortable and helping them through their recovery.

When did you first get involved in the medical supply business, what drew you to this type of work and when did you know that you wanted to do it?

My family and I have been involved in the medical supply business since 2004, before this, we owned a small collection agency in NY where we would have to collect balances from self-pay cases, No-Fault and Worker’s Comp and also help assist patient with no insurance to apply for emergency Medicaid to help cover bills for emergency visits.

After 10 years, we decided we wanted to be the ones to help service injured and ill patients with medical supplies and not just a medical supply company but a resource for our community.

What are the greatest challenges in your work and what frustrations frequently arise in your business that need to be addressed?

We all face daily challenges, the greatest would be not having the space to carry all supplies that customers may need in our location. That is why we have learned what other DME companies nearby carry and specialize in, this way when we are unable to service customers we redirect them to where they can get the services needed.

Our biggest frustration is the ever-changing rules and regulations enforced by insurance companies, with continued fee schedule reductions, and having to work with vendors to lower their rates in order to serve customers with quality supplies.

What are the most common injuries that are suffered by your customers and how do your medical supplies help them with their activities of daily living?

The most common injuries that we see on a daily basis are knee, wrist, and back injuries.  We offer a varied selection of braces and aids that would facility life after an injury.

If someone has been involved in a serious accident what are some of the restrictions and challenges that they face and what products do you sell that can assist them?

 All injuries come with different limitations and restrictions.  Many may face different challenges as no two injuries are the same, some may require the need of a cane, quad cane, or a walker, as they are unable to stand unassisted or have temporary balance issues.  After a serious injury, many are unable to use the bathroom without assistance requiring a toilet seat raise, shower chair, transfer bench, and even a tub rail to aid safety.  There are others that require special bracing during recovery, we are able to assist with these supplies.

Are the products that you sell covered by most medical insurance policies and how can a customer find out if the product they wish to purchase is covered by their health insurance plan?

Many DME supplies are covered by most insurance companies, the best way to find out if what they are looking for is covered is to give us a call and we can answer that for them. If we advised that it is covered by their insurance carrier, we require a doctor’s order with diagnosis code(s)  as it is an insurance requirement before we can submit a claim.

What are some of the best secrets, tips, or advice that you can share with injured people and their families that can help to make their life a little easier or better or allow them access to more services?

Our best advice to injured people and their family members is to always ask a medical provider or DME specialist as to what can help make life easier at home during recovery.

Also is if you were involved in a No-Fault or Worker’s Comp accident assure to have D/O/A, policy number or workers comp case number, name of insurance company, name of adjuster or claim handler’s direct phone number, and email always available as it only helps facilitate all necessary authorizations.  If they have any personal insurance have it readily available as well.

Publisher’s note:  AWA Medical Supplies and the medical supply business are a tremendous resource for injured parties and their families.  If you have been involved in a serious accident that has disrupted your activities of daily living, then you should contact a medical supply store. You can find out what items can be obtained to help with your recovery, including how to reduce your pain and make your life a bit easier as you convalesce after suffering from the effects of a serious accident. For any further questions, please contact us.