Denver, Colorado

I have been using a wheelchair for several years, and had an old one that I got from Apria years ago. When I finally got Medicare in Feb of 2013, my doctor ordered me a new one because the one I had was so old and worn out. This new one makes weird noises, the padding on the armrests fell apart after one month, it is very hard to push and it is killing my husband's back getting it in and out of the car.

I was finally approved for Medicaid a couple of months ago, and wanted to get my own wheelchair instead of dealing with Apria. Because I have a Medicare Advantage plan with Kaiser, I found out I had to go through them and still deal with Apria. I had lost a lot of weight after having surgery and was gaining strength. I wanted one that was lighter so I could propel it myself and to also save my husband's back. I went on their website and found a chair that I believed would work for me.

I called Apria and asked them how to go about getting this specific chair, and followed their instructions on what my doctor needed to fax to them to order it. A few days later Apria called and said they do not have this wheelchair, they didn't have any lightweight ones at all, and that I would have to take the current one across town to have it repaired if I was having problems with it.

I called Kaiser and explained all of this to them. The head of the department that handles durable medical equipment called Apria and must have really given it to them, because that same day a man from Apria called and apologized. He found another lightweight wheelchair and ordered it for me. He said it would come in about two business weeks.

After waiting the two weeks, I called them again and they said it hadn't come in yet as it was a special order. Two weeks after that my daughter called them and they told her it would be coming on August 5th. The morning of August 5th I received an automated call from Apria saying someone would be coming some time after noon that day (which was yesterday.) At about 4 pm I called to find out what was going on, and was told the wheelchair still hadn't arrived and that no one had called me. By this time I am losing it, so my husband gets on the phone and asks to speak to a supervisor. Apria hangs up on him.

He called them back and finally got to a supervisor, who was actually pretty helpful. She verified that the chair had not come in but should be here early next week (yeah... right.) She said the call we received was because they were bringing me equipment to check my oxygen level overnight. This was news to me. She told me it had been ordered by a doctor that had assisted with my surgery back in September of last year. I told her there was no reason why a gynecologist would be ordering an oxygen test.

The supervisor said she would call that doctor to try and find out what was going on and call me back. No one from Apria ever showed up to deliver anything yesterday, and she has not called me back as of this writing. At this point I am not sure I believe they ever even ordered the wheelchair...

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