The L.A. Daily News reports about new ways for O2-dependent patients to produce oxygen at home:
Home oxygen patients were once largely constrained to their homes, hooked to huge air tanks that had to be frequently replenished. Smaller portable tanks offered more chances at mobility, but users still had to conform their schedules to the whims of a delivery truck.
But as oxygen providers increasingly look for ways to cut down on delivery and inventory costs, a new model has emerged, allowing patients to fill their own tanks at home. With the freedom to fill at will, once-homebound oxygen users can get on with their lives in fairly normal fashion.
“If people are active and use the oxygen, they’ll live longer,” said Reggie Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of O2 Plus, a San Fernando-based provider. “How can you be active if you’re sitting at home, waiting for the tanks to be delivered?”
He favors the Invacare HomeFill II system, relying so heavily on the rig that it accounts for the majority of revenue for his 15-month-old business. At $3,000 per machine, it’s not cheap, but he says the savings in labor costs associated with regular tank delivery allow him to serve more than 200 patients with a staff of only four.
Systems like the Invacare model use a device known as an oxygen concentrator, which separates nitrogen from the air to build up a supply of pure oxygen. Users hook up small tanks that can be slung over the shoulder for portability, filling them with several hours worth of air supply.
Details about the Invacare HomeFill II system can be found at the company’s website…