Oxygen users say supplier not providing correct amount

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Moira Rivers needs medically prescribed oxygen to live, but said the company that provides the oxygen has decided to give her less than what was prescribed by her doctor.

"I have half of what I really need and I will be out before next Wednesday," Rivers said.

Lincare Inc. is her provider; Rivers said she has been trying to get the company to refill her prescription since Wednesday.

"It is scary," she said.

On Monday the St. Augustine resident drove to one Lincare's locations to get her oxygen and said she was given less than was prescribed.

"Normally I would get eight of these medium size containers but they've only given me four and four small ones," she said.

Rivers is not alone, in Jacksonville Barbara Dautel has the same complaint.

"It is Incompetence and rationing," said Dautel.

Dautel, 58, is also a Lincare customer and said she has been trying to get liquid oxygen delivered since the Memorial Holiday week. The company boasts of being available 24/7 on its website but Dautel said that was not her experience.

"I've been on the phone constantly and there is always an excuse," Dautel said.

She has four reservoirs but Dautel said the company will only fill two. She believes the problem is economics and not a supply issue.

"They're not making any money," Dautel said. "They charge flat fees so they're giving us as little as you can possibly get and still charge full price but it is a violation of my prescription."

Dautel, who can barely walk around her home without gasping for air, said the experience has caused tremendous stress.

"I keep asking when is my oxygen going to run out," she said.

Calls to Lincare's corporate office in Clearwater office were referred me to the Jacksonville office.

But even with several phone calls and a visit to the Phillips Highway location, the center manager did not respond to their complaints.

Both Rivers and Bautel would like Lincare to follow their doctors' prescription and provide what has been prescribed

"It is equivalent to the pharmacist telling somebody you can only have half a prescription because that's all we want you to have," said Dautel.

A spokesperson for the Agency for Health Care Administration is looking into the concerns.

Complaints regarding oxygen should be filed with DPBR.

The following web page shows that medical oxygen must be based on an order from a practitioner: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/ddc/MedicalOxygenRetail.html you can call 850.487.1395.


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