Providing patients with lifetime support for a chronic lung condition is just one of the many responsibilities we take close to heart. In fact, even before you begin your SmartVest journey, you’ll receive product support and education. We do this to ensure that both you and your healthcare team feel confident adding The SmartVest Airway Clearance System to your treatment plan.
Starting a new therapy at home means you’ll have many questions and a few concerns. That’s where our patient care advocates come in! They’re ready to connect with you to ensure you receive answers and guidance on using your high frequency chest wall oscillation (HFCWO) therapy device with greater ease.
Ready to Meet Your Patient Care Advocates?
Today, we’d like to introduce you to Mike Sesnan and Lori Jessico—two Respiratory Therapists who are committed to helping future SmartVest users learn about the many benefits of airway clearance therapy for COPD and bronchiectasis symptom relief.
We recently sat down with Mike and Lori to help you get a better understanding of who they are, what they do, and how they can help you kickstart your SmartVest journey and experience airway clearance for life!
Q: Can You Each Give Us an Overview of Your Background in Patient Care?
Mike: I’ve been a respiratory therapist for 25 years. During that time, I worked in hospitals, home health, medical sales, and other patient care areas. I strongly believe that having the amazing opportunity to work in so many different healthcare settings, for such a long period, has really helped me become a well-rounded therapist.
Lori: I became a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) and clinical educator in 2007. I spent most of my RT years doing direct patient care in a hospital setting—both in emergency and Intensive Care—as well as providing hands-on clinical teaching to RT students. My patients ranged from newborn to geriatric with all levels of pulmonary disease.
Q: What Made You Each Want to Join the Electromed Team?
Mike: I came to Electromed to be a patient representative. I really feel that representing, encouraging, and assisting each patient is a very rewarding position to be in, and I feel like it’s one of my strongest suits.
Lori: I joined Electromed a few years ago because I love the product, and I believe that SmartVest can improve the lives of so many patients. I wanted to be a part of that journey!
Q: What Do You Like Most About Working with Electromed as a Patient Care Advocate?
Mike: Working at Electromed is great! For me, it’s a rewarding job because we get to help so many people breathe easier and live better lives. My patient care advocate role is exciting because I have the opportunity to assist prospective patients, and their caregivers, with answering questions about SmartVest (such as the benefits of therapy and how SmartVest works).
After they request a patient packet, they can expect a call from either me or Lori to follow up and see if they have any questions or if they need more information.
Lori: As a clinical educator in the hospital setting, my passion is teaching. I love being able to discuss SmartVest with potential patients, who are living with a lung disease and are looking for symptom relief.
The more they know about their condition and what can help them, the better prepared they are to make decisions regarding their care.
Q: What Process Do You Take in Providing Follow-Up Information?
Mike: Knowledge is powerful, which is why I like to make sure both patients and their caregivers have the resources they need to make the best decisions about their health. I like to send information packets to assist them in learning more about SmartVest and how to get this amazing device that can help improve their quality of life.
This is also something easy and informative they can bring to their next doctor’s appointment.
Lori: It’s vital to all our potential patients to know the first step. I am here as a clinician to help patients gather information and answer their questions so that when they speak with their physician, they have everything they need to move forward in the process.
I always encourage patients to reach out to me if they want more information.
Q: If Patients are Nervous About Starting Therapy, How Do You Each Help Alleviate Their Fears?
Mike: I find that most patients are unfamiliar with the benefits of using HFCWO therapy for airway clearance. But by explaining how effective and easy SmartVest makes their therapy, and what they can expect during each session, they begin to relax and feel more comfortable about asking me questions.
Lori: When patients realize they are speaking with an actual RT, they feel more comfortable knowing they’ll receive answers from a clinician. This means a lot to our patients here at Electromed.
It’s our mission to help patients improve their lives and breathe easier. This starts here and follows through to even after they have received their SmartVest and need ongoing patient support and resources.
Q: What Is One of the Most Common Questions You Receive?
Mike: As with any new treatment or medication, people want to know how much their insurance provider will cover. Though the answer will depend on your individual situation, private insurance companies may cover HFCWO therapy devices like SmartVest.
There are other coverage options you may qualify for, too, including the Medicare waiver, state medical insurance, or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Lori: And the nice part about our process is that once we receive a referral, we handle the insurance details. We’ll contact your insurance provider on your behalf and keep you informed about your coverage options. Our team will also work directly with your provider to help streamline the reimbursement process after you are prescribed a SmartVest.
I also want to note that Electromed offers financial assistant programs in the event that your provider doesn’t cover therapy. We want your focus on finding relief for your symptoms, which is why we’ll help you find a program that suits your needs and budget.
Q: What Are Some of Your Favorite Stories from Patients Who Started Using SmartVest?
Mike: My top three favorite patient testimonials include:
- “The SmartVest has changed my life.”
- “I believe the fact that I can go to a 3-hour chorus rehearsal with no oxygen would never have been possible a month ago before the SmartVest!!!”
- “I use the SmartVest faithfully because I firmly believe it is helping me to get rid of the mucus being made by my deteriorating lungs!”
I typically hear things like this all the time from patients, and I never tire of it.
Lori: One of my patients was initially skeptical of the therapy, but after she started using the SmartVest for a few weeks, she called to tell me she couldn’t believe the difference it had made in her life.
She was able to do so much more without feeling short of breath. She felt her overall health was impacted by the therapy and was thrilled that she went ahead with the SmartVest. She told me that she couldn’t imagine her life without it now.
Q: What Advice Would You Give Someone Experiencing Bronchiectasis-Related Symptoms but May Be Unsure How to Talk to Their Clinician about Starting Therapy?
Mike: I would advise this person to take a copy of our SmartVest information packet to their next doctor’s appointment. This resource is full of great information about how SmartVest works, why it’s effective, and how we can partner with your healthcare team to streamline the prescription process.
In fact, the packet includes all the forms your clinician needs to fill out and submit to us, so we can step in and help you get a respiratory vest delivered to your door and schedule a training session with your RRT for your first therapy session.
Lori: Understanding the various diseases that can affect the lungs is key. I believe discussing this in detail with patients helps them understand that a preventive therapy option like SmartVest is one of the most beneficial therapies that is offered to pulmonary patients.
The next step is to bring this information to your physician and discuss how to incorporate it into your treatment plan.
Get Started with Airway Clearance Today
If you’d like to find out more about SmartVest, request an informational packet today to find helpful resources on how SmartVest works to help you breathe easier and live a better life!
If you’d like to talk to Mike or Lori in person, simply click on the banner below to schedule a time to chat or call them directly at 1.855.528.5690!