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A timeline for predicting durable medical equipment needs and interventions for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients


, : A timeline for predicting durable medical equipment needs and interventions for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis 11(1-2): 110-115

ALS is progressive with increasing patient needs for durable medical equipment (DME) and interventions (gastric feeding tube - PEG, and non-invasive ventilation - NIV). We performed a chart review of deceased patients to determine the time-course of needs and their estimated costs. A timeline of needs was based on when clinic personnel felt an item was necessary. The point in time when an item or intervention was needed was expressed as a percentage of a patient's total disease duration. A wide range of DME and interventions was needed irrespective of site of ALS symptom onset (bulbar, upper, lower extremity), beginning at 10% of disease duration of lower extremity onset and increasing thereafter for all sites. The cumulative probability of costs of items and interventions began at 25%-50% of disease duration and increased to between $18,000 and $32,000 (USD), highest for lower extremity onset due to the cost of wheelchairs. We conclude that a high percentage of ALS patients will need a full spectrum of major DME items and interventions during the second half of disease duration. This results in a linear rise in costs over the second half of the disease duration.

US$19.90

PMID: 19412817

DOI: 10.3109/17482960902835970


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