Patients prefer physician-provided durable medical equipment over third-party vendors: A patient satisfaction survey

Mithun Neral, Nikunj N. Trivedi, Derrick M. Knapik, Amol H. Trivedi, Michael R. Karns, Robert J. Gillespie, Michael J. Salata, James E. Voos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: The purpose of the study was to compare patient satisfaction between patients receiving durable medical equipment (DME) at home from a third-party vendor versus directly from their physician's office. Methods: A prospective 10-question patient satisfaction survey study was provided to 66 consecutive adult patients who met the inclusion criteria of receiving DME after orthopaedic shoulder or knee surgery using either an in-office (n=31 patients) or third party (n=35 patients) DME delivery program. Survey questions were graded on a 1 to 5 Likert scale that assessed the ease of obtaining DME, comfort with delivery method, ease of scheduling fitting, education about DME use and postoperative instructions, concerns about cost, and satisfaction with overall care. Categorical questions evaluated preference of same-day delivery method, patient perceived adequacy of answering of all DME-related questions, and whether cryotherapy was utilized postoperatively. Results: All patients (100%; 31 of 31) who received DME in-office reported they would use the same program for their next DME delivery. Six (17.1%; 6 of 35) patients who received DME from a third-party vendor preferred to use the same method in the future (P=0.0001). Scheduling DME fittings was easier in the in-office setting compared with a third-party vendor (P=0.05). Conclusions: Patients receiving their DME in the office from their physician were significantly more likely to prefer using the in-office setting again and reported fit-scheduling to be easier when compared with patients using a third-party vendor. DME can be provided by physicians in the office setting without negatively impacting patient satisfaction. Level of Evidence: Level II.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-431
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent Orthopaedic Practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • durable medical equipment
  • economics
  • patient satisfaction
  • sports medicine


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