I have a CAPD patient who has employment which requires air travel to job locations for unspecified periods of time. The assignments occur with little advance notice, sometimes only one day. Has anyone had experience with coordinating this type of situation, or does anyone have any suggestions? Supplier so far has stated that they will likely make a couple of exceptions to OSD freight charges for short notice deliveries due to employment situation, but would probably not be willing to do this indefinitely. We are checking with airlines in regard to maximum amount of supplies they will allow to accompany the patient on the flight and whether there will be additional charges for the supplies. Any advice would be appreciated.
It’s a really good idea to check with the airlines. Make sure they know it’s medical supplies in case there is an exception on weight limits or additional charges for excess weight.
In the meantime, does anyone in the company know in advance that someone is going to need to travel so it could be scheduled more easily? Can he travel more by car than by plane allowing him to take more supplies with him? Does he go back to the same place(s) regularly so he could leave some supplies there?
Under the ADA, employers with 15 or more employees are not to discriminate against someone with a disabling condition in hiring, raises, promotions, training opportunities, etc. and companies are supposed to accommodate known disabilities unless doing so causes undue hardship (usually translates to cost which is generally not an issue with dialysis patients). People with kidney failure are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Your patient might want to explain to his employer the difficulty of arranging dialysis shipments on short notice (his doctor could write and sign a letter to confirm this). He could ask for an accommodation of his disability in the form of more notice for out of town travel. This would allow him to arrange his shipments more easily (and hopefully without additional charges). He might also want to consider requesting a position in the company that would require less out of town travel.
It is essential that the clinic do what it can to help him keep his job…for the physical, emotional, financial, and social benefits, not counting the additional revenue clinics can make from employer group health plans.