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Resources

From this page you will find links to various types of resources that may be helpful to you during your search for products or services. We have divided this page into six major sections for your convenience.

  1. *State and Federal Agencies
  2. Disability Support and Service Delivery Groups
  3. Independent Living Centers (Hillsborough & Pinellas Counties)
  4. Emergency Preparedness
  5. Other Resources

Florida State Agencies

Individuals who are looking for a company to provide durable medical equipment or services should know that since 2000, the state of Florida has required companies that provide durable medical equipment and the associated services to obtain a license from the Agency for Health Care Administration. Before we move on to the Florida Statutes, we think it is important to clarify Home Medical Equipment and Durable Medical Equipment.

From a legal standpoint, they refer to the same items.  Years ago, the term Durable was used by the Medicare Program to identify equipment that was expected to remain in service and was reimbursable by Medicare.  Over the years, the term Home Medical Equipment has become the more used term by professionals in the field but they remain interchangeable.  As you will notice in the following Florida Statute, both terms are used in the same paragraph.

Specically, Florida Statute 400.925 defines home medical equipment as follows:

"Home medical equipment" includes any product as defined by the Federal Drug Administration's Drugs, Devices and Cosmetics Act, any products reimbursed under the Medicare Part B Durable Medical Equipment benefits, or any products reimbursed under the Florida Medicaid durable medical equipment program. Home medical equipment includes oxygen and related respiratory equipment; manual, motorized, or customized wheelchairs and related seating and positioning, but does not include prosthetics or orthotics or any splints, braces, or aids custom fabricated by a licensed health care practitioner; motorized scooters; personal transfer systems; and specialty beds, for use by a person with a medical need." 

Florida Statute 400.93 defines a Home Medical Equipment Provider as follows:

1)  Any person or entity that holds itself out to the public as providing home medical equipment and services or accepts physician orders for home medical equipment and services is subject to licensure under this part.

(2)  Any person or entity that holds itself out to the public as providing home medical equipment that typically requires home medical services is subject to licensure under this part.

(3)  A home medical equipment provider must be licensed by the agency to operate in this state or to provide home medical equipment and services to consumers in this state. A standard license issued to a home medical equipment provider, unless sooner suspended or revoked, expires 2 years after its effective date.

If you are looking for a new provider or you have questions about your current provider you may access the State of Florida Facility Locator to verify if the company in question is licensed. It is important that you deal with licensed medical equipment companies since these companies must adhere to strict state guidelines in order for them to operate and they have had on-site inspections by the Agency for Health Care Administration.  Licensed providers must display their license in a prominent place in their office.

To find currently licensed durable medical equipment providers in the state of  Florida, go to:  http://facilitylocator.floridahealthstat.com. Go to Facility Type and scroll down to Home Medical Equipment. You can then search by provider name, city, or county.

For further information regarding Florida medical equipment providers, you my visit the Agency for Health Care Administration at http://www.fdhc.state.fl.us.

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Other Florida State websites and phone numbers include:

  • Agency for Person with Disabilities - www.apd.myflorida.com
    Toll Free: 1-866-APD-CARES or 1-866-273-2273

For questions on Medicare or general questions on Medicaid

For information regarding veterans

Additional information can be found at the following sites:

  • Department of Justice offers technical assistance on the ADA Standards for Accessible Design and other ADA provisions; also provides information on how to file ADA complaints.
    ADA Info: 800-514-0301 (voice) 800-514-0383 (TTY)
    www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission offers technical assistance on ADA provisions applying to employment; also provides information on how to file ADA complaints.
    Employment questions: 800-669-4000 (voice) 800-669-6820 (TTY)
    Employment Publications: 800-669-3362 (voice) 800-669-3302 (TTY)
    www.eeoc.gov
  • Department of Transportation offers technical assistance on The ADA provisions applying to transportation; also provides information on how to file ADA complaints.
    ADA Assistance Line: 888-446-4511 (voice)
    TTY: use relay service.
    www.fta.dot.gov
  • Federal Communications Commission offers technical Assistance on the ADA's relay service (TRS) requirements.
    TRS publications and questions: 888-225-5322 (voice) 888-835-5322 (TTY)
    www.fcc.gov/cib/dro
  • Access Board, or Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board offers technical assistance on the ADA Accessibility Guidelines.
    Publications and questions: 800-872-2253 (voice) 800-993-2822
    www.access-board.gov
  • Department of Education Funds ten regional centers to provide technical assistance on the ADA.
    Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers: 800-949-4232 (voice/TTY)
    www.adata.org
  • President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities answers employment questions and funds the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), which provides advice on accommodating employees with disabilities.
    Employment questions: (202) 376-6200 (voice) and (202) 376-6205
    www.adata.org
    Accommodation Network: (800) 526-7234 (voice/TTY)
    http://janweb.icdi.wvu.edu
  • Internal Revenue Service provides information about tax code provisions including tax credits (section 44) and tax deductions (section 190) that can assist businesses in complying with the ADA.
    Tax Code-information: (800) 829-1040 (voice) (800) 829-4059 (TTY)
    Tax Code-legal questions: (202) 622-3110 (voice) TTY: Use relay service
    To order publications 535 and 334: (800) 829-3676 (voice) (800) 829-4059 (TTY)
    www.irs.gov
  • Project Action is funded by the Department of Transportation to provide ADA information and publications on making transportation accessible.
    Transportation information and publications: (800) 659-6428 (voice) and TTY: use relay service
    www.projectaction.org

    Other federal laws prohibit discrimination and provide equal opportunity for people with disabilities in housing, air transportation, and access to federal facilities and post offices.
  • Fair Housing Act, call Department of Housing and Urban Development.
    Fair Housing Accessibility questions: (202) 708-2333 (voice) (202) 401-1247 (TTY)
    Fair Housing Publications: (800) 767-7468 (voice) and TTY-use relay service
    www.hud.gov
  • Air Carrier Access Act, call Department of Transportation.
    Aviation Consumer Protection Division: (202) 366-2220 (voice) (202) 755-7687 (TTY)
    w
    ww.dot.gov/airconsumer

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Disability Support and Service Delivery Groups

The following website is the most complete, comprehensive list of products, support and services that we have seen to date.

Independent Living Centers (Hillsborough & Pinellas Counties)

Emergency Preparedness

In Florida, hurricanes are a grim reality and everyone needs an emergency preparedness plan in the event a hurricane comes our way.  The emergency preparedness plan is even more critical for disabled individuals and their families and/or caregivers.  As a result of the many injuries and deaths within the disabled community during and after Katrina, Florida's Agency for Healthcare Administration decided to enlist the aid of all Home Medical Equipment providers in the registration process for folks who would require "Special Needs" evacuation or shelter should we be advised that a hurricane was on its way.

It was mandated that as of June 1, 2007, all providers would design a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and submit it to each county health department in which they provided equipment and/or services to individuals who required either Life Supporting or Life Sustaining equipment. Definition of Life-supporting or Life-sustaining is as follows:

As defined in Florida Statute (law) 400.925(13), “’Life-supporting or life-sustaining equipment’ means a device that is essential to, or that yields information that is essential to, the restoration or continuation of a bodily function important to the continuation of human life. Life-supporting or life-sustaining equipment includes apnea monitors, enteral feeding pumps, infusion pumps, portable home dialysis including oxygen equipment and related respiratory equipment

Since some of the staff at WrightWay was involved with helping to take supplies into Katrina effected areas immediately following the storm, we realized that we needed to be active in assisting our clients to prepare for such storms.  Beginning in June, 2006, we designed a "New Client Packet" that included information on Emergency Preparedness, a registration form for "Special Needs" evacuation and/or shelter. With have recently updated these packets and they now include other emergency phone numbers, actual information of what they can expect in a shelter, and, of course, a reminder that individuals should call us if they are going to require extra supplies prior to a storm.  Since we call every new client within 5 days of their initial delivery, we always ask if they have registered and/or if they have evacuation plans and it would appear that a small number of folks have actually thought much about emergency preparedness.  We believe that everyone needs to put this issue on the front burner and do everything possible to spread the word on how important having a plan is going to be in the event of hurricane or other catastrophic emergency.  Following you will find a list of County Health Department as well as County Emergency Management websites and phone numbers for the counties that comprise WrightWay's service area which are:

County Health Department Emergency Management
Desoto (863) 993-4601 (863) 993-4831
Hillsborough (813) 307-8015 Ext.6006 (813) 272-6408
Manatee (941) 748-0747 (941) 749-3022
Pasco (727) 847-8137 (727) 847-8137
Pinellas (727) 824-6900 (727) 464-3800
Sarasota (941) 861-5000 (941) 861.5000

In the event that you elect to go to a Special Needs emergency shelter, the following fact sheet will you give you an idea of what to expect.

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SPECIAL NEEDS SHELTERS

Please note: The special needs shelter should be used as a place of last refuge.  The evacuee may not receive the same level of care received in the home and the conditions in a shelter may be stressful.

(1)  It is the expectation of the special needs shelter that a caregiver accompany and remain with the consumer throughout the stay.

(2)  The following is a suggested list of what consumers need to bring to the special needs shelter during an evacuation; the consumer should check with the assigned shelter to confirm the necessary items and/or those items which may not be accommodated:

  • Identification and current address
  • A copy of the consumer’s plan of care, if applicable
  • Medication listing including directions for the dose, frequency, route, time of day and any special considerations for administration; equipment and supplies list including the phone, beeper and emergency numbers for the consumer’s physician, pharmacy and, if applicable, oxygen supplier; necessary medical equipment and supplies; Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNRO), if applicable
  • Bed sheets, blankets, pillow, folding lawn chair, air mattress
  • Prescription and non-prescription medications needed for at least 5 to 7 days; oxygen for 5 to 7 days, if needed and shelter space allows
  • Special diet items, non-perishable food for 5 to 7 days and 1 gallon of water per person per day
  • Glasses, hearing aids and batteries, prosthetics and any other assistive devices
  • Personal hygiene items for 5 to 7 days (including adult diapers, colostomy supplies, etc.)
  • Extra clothing for 5 to 7 days
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Self-entertainment and recreation items such as books, magazines, quiet games
  • Labeled shoe box or other small closed container to hold the majority of the smaller items listed above to facilitate storage and ease of use

(3)  All persons using the special needs shelters need to know the following:

  • Space allotted for the consumer includes space for the caregiver. A special needs shelter can accommodate only one caregiver at a time; any other family members, friends, etc. should go to a regular shelter.
  • The caregiver must provide his or her own bedding.
  • Caregivers who regularly assist the consumer in the home are expected to continue to provide the same care in the shelter.
  • Service dogs are allowed in the shelter. Check with the local Emergency Management office to see if other pets are permitted.
  • Bring food items as listed above. It is possible only sparse meals will be provided.
    Smoking is not allowed in the shelter.
Finally, Please, If you are living anywhere in Florida and you depend on Life-supporting or Life-sustaining equipment or service and supplies, let your county's Health Department and the Emergency Management Department know where you are and what you are going to require in the event of a hurricane or other disaster.  Also, call the company that provides equipment to you or services the equipment you have and make sure they have a plan to continue your services during an emergency.

Other Resources

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