There’s an article in the February HME News about people ordering oxygen concentrators without a prescription, thinking it might help them avoid COVID-19 , or some such silly notion. With all the misinformation flying around, not to mention the confusing stories that are factual, that’s no surprise. To the extend that some succeed in obtaining the equipment, providers are likely to be asked for help with supplies and maintenance on items they did not sell and for which they have no valid orders on file.
I’m reminded of the constant stream of complaints we’ve received over the years about local providers being asked to do such things as fit CPAP masks purchased on line. Getting rid of this kind of mail order/online sales was a major factor in causing Alabama providers to support creating licensure. It hasn’t worked very well, however, primarily because the Board can’t take action against an illegal seller unless an Alabama consumer files a complaint, and that has proven to be remarkably difficult to produce. Aside from the fear of retaliation of some unspecified type, people who think they are saving a buck just won’t complain about a lack of service.
In both situations, the best response is always to refuse to help with supplies or service, especially if the prospective customer doesn’t have a valid prescription. Tell them to ask for help where they bought the product! If they do have a prescription and wish to purchase supplies you regularly sell, or if they require something like a mask fitting, offering to sell them the product or service for a fair price, for cash of course. Since they almost certainly paid cash for the online order, they can’t object to paying you the same way. Until virtually every provider does this regularly the problem will continue to grow.