Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I am not Responsible for your CPAP Machine

CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is the most common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Most sleep physicians do not directly provide their patients with CPAP machines, but instead give a prescription for each patient to take to a durable medical equipment (DME)company. I typically give patients a list of several companies to choose from, while telling them that they are legally free to pick any DME company they desire.
Once a patient selects a DME company, he is essentially stuck with that company for 5 years. Due to reimbursement issues, it is difficult to switch companies (though there are a few exceptions- insurance reimbursement for CPAP is a complicated matter). Choosing the right DME company is critical- the DME company is responsible for adjusting the settings (as ordered by a physician prescription), supplying/fitting CPAP masks, periodically replacing filters and other supplies, and servicing the CPAP machines.
So pick a good DME company- go with your doctor's suggestion.
Do not lose your CPAP machine. There is nothing I can do about it. Medicare and most other insurance companies won't cover a new CPAP machine for 5 years, unless your machine becomes unrepairable. If you lose your machine, you are out of luck.
If you plan on moving soon, pick a national DME company, such as Lincare or Apria. If your DME company does not have an office in the state you are moving to, it may be difficult to get your CPAP machine serviced.
I am not responsible for your CPAP machine. If it malfunctions, I will try to help out and will call your DME company, if necessary. However, I am often limited in what I can do. If you are one of my patients, please go to one of the companies that I recommend. I only recommend companies that provide good service.

1 comment:


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Sleep apnea