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What is New With CPAP in 2012

A look at potential factors that could decide how you will receive your CPAP supplies in the future.

Cuts to CPAP Reimbursement and CPAP Replacement Schedule

Hold on to your hats; it’s an election year and the hot topic is still healthcare reform and reimbursement cuts. So what does this mean to the average CPAP user? Considering most commercial insurance providers typically follow Medicare standards, the complete landscape of how often you get new CPAP supplies and the particular brand of CPAP supplies will change. Medicare will put in place a new replacement schedule for CPAP supplies that will state the need of physician documentation to receive that replacement mask, cushions, tubing and more. Remember the good old days when you could get a new cushion every month; yeah say good bye to that. Cutting reimbursement in the range of up to 30% also means that the top of the line equipment you used to get will now be replaced or provided with inferior, less expensive products. Good news is that you can still self pay for any of your CPAP supplies at 1800CPAP.com

The major medical equipment companies are starting to buy up internet CPAP dealers and get into the game of self pay supplies. Recently, Lincare Holding Inc purchased CPAP Supply USA. With continued cuts to reimbursement and replacement schedules, we expect many more of the big name DME companies will be targeting cash pay customers and reducing their overhead by eliminating “brick and mortar” stores. How soon before Apria Healthcare or Rotech Medical decides to buy up an internet CPAP dealer?

Manufacturers and New Products

This year many new products were introduced to us by various CPAP manufacturers that have taken sleep apnea therapy to a whole new level. The Fisher and Paykel Pilairo nasal pillow mask system with a one strap headgear and a one size fits all pillow cushion just may make get a “Best CPAP Mask of 2012” nomination from 1800CPAP.com. Philips Respironics introduced a product line of CPAP and Auto CPAP machines with a heated tube, the System One 60 Series of CPAP and Auto CPAP machines will give the ResMed S9 Autoset with H5i and ClimateLine a run for its money. SleepWeaver scored really big points with the Elan cloth nasal CPAP mask, not to mention its 30 Day money back guarantee. One of my personal favorites that I would like to point out is the DevilBiss IntelliPAPseries of Auto Adjusting and Fixed Pressure CPAP. DevilBiss units, made in the U.S.A., offer a 5 year warranty on their CPAP and Auto CPAP devices. A 5 year warranty is amazing and in comparison to other manufacturers that offer a 2 year warranty, we see DevilBiss gaining mass market share soon.

Mainstream

The secret is out; CPAP changes people’s lives for the better and not only their life but their bed partner’s life as well. We see CPAP machines popping up in mainstream movies, television shows and news programs. The word of mouth grass roots effort created by success stories is leading more and more people asking questions about sleep apnea testing. Lucky for them that home sleep testing is becoming more accepted as a physiological tool to accurately measure and diagnose sleep apnea. Being tested in your own home under your normal every night settings helps with desensitizing of the wires, belts and cannulas, not to mention the thousands saved by not going to a sleep center. Just wait until Christmas time when I suggest home sleep test kits as stocking stuffers.

CPAP and sleep therapy manufacturers sure are putting a lot of effort in developing CPAP masks and machines made specifically for women. My guess is once the hubby got his CPAP and slept quietly through the night, he noticed the misses had a little snoring problem of her own too.