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Are You Monitored By A Sleep Dr?
#1
My first post. I've been using a ResMed AirSense 10 Auto for 23 nights now, after being diagnosed with mild sleep apnea this summer.

Can't complain about our health group in terms of equipment. They've allowed me to try a new nasal mask (replacing an Eson with a Philips Wisp), and they just agreed to let me have a P10 to try next week. So cool on the equipment front.

But when I asked about monitoring or meeting with a sleep doctor (whom I've never met) they basically said the machine does it all, and I could basically check in in 5 years. Seems weird to me, but what do I know?

Is this usual? Is this why "we" have support forums?

As of today, I have SleepyHead and my data downloaded. The amount of data (and how to interpret that data) seems a little daunting at this point (day one), but I'm going to endeavor to figure it all out. If anyone has tips I'm all ears.

Thanks for being here!

Bill
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#2
Your experience is a little out of the ordinary. Some of the required checks by a sleep doctor are required by insurance companies to continue to pay for the PAP machine and expendable supplies. Few of these doctors actually look at the data. Your machine has a cellular modem that is likely being monitored by the DME (people who supplied the machine). If you are non-complaint, they are likely to call you. Your settings are also "wide-open" -- a technique used to let the machine hunt for optimal pressure; but sometimes delivers less than optimal therapy.


Welcome
INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#3
My Sleep Doc sees me once a year for insurance purposes. He takes vitals, praises my compliance and results, wishes me a good day, and schedules next year's appointment.
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#4
I see mine every six months for follow ups to make sure I am not having any issues that the machine may not report. In addition to taking vitals, praising me, and wishing me a goo day, he reviews my machine log (and my sleepyhead version) and answers any questions I may have as well as explaining what he sees going on in my data. I am very happy with my sleep doctor.
I am not a Medical professional and I don't play one on the internet.
Started CPAP Therapy April 5, 2016
I'd Rather Be Sleeping
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#5
(09-09-2016, 05:42 PM)justMongo Wrote: Your experience is a little out of the ordinary. Some of the required checks by a sleep doctor are required by insurance companies to continue to pay for the PAP machine and expendable supplies. Few of these doctors actually look at the data. Your machine has a cellular modem that is likely being monitored by the DME (people who supplied the machine). If you are non-complaint, they are likely to call you. Your settings are also "wide-open" -- a technique used to let the machine hunt for optimal pressure; but sometimes delivers less than optimal therapy.


Welcome

I've got Kaiser, so the doctors and the insurance are all kind of bundled together in one thing. They do use a DME to provide gear.

The Kaiser sleep techs said their docs are so busy that they look at the home sleep studies initially, supply machines with settings (probably in most cases wide open), and then let the machines do the work. The machine does transmit my data, but it doesn't seem like anyone will be pouring over it on the other end.

Doesn't seem ideal. So maybe I have a lot to learn to manage settings (etc) myself? I sort of wish I had an expert looking at my data (not that I'm a severe case).

Bill

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#6
(09-09-2016, 05:57 PM)FrankNichols Wrote: I see mine every six months for follow ups to make sure I am not having any issues that the machine may not report. In addition to taking vitals, praising me, and wishing me a goo day, he reviews my machine log (and my sleepyhead version) and answers any questions I may have as well as explaining what he sees going on in my data. I am very happy with my sleep doctor.

This sort of relationship sounds good to me. In what form do you share your SleepyHead data with your doctor?

Bill
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#7
I use my primary care doctor to help me with any needs for sleep apnea. I basically tell him what I need, and suggest some prescription elements, and they are fulfilled by a supplier. If the insurance company requires any documentation or physician report, my primary provides that. Great guy. I have no need for a specialist after 8-years of doing this, and I certainly don't want to visit a specialist every 6-months, or take any kind of sleep test.
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#8
so do I understand that as long as the DME is monitoring one's use for continued compliance via the built in cellular modem there is really no need to see a "sleep doctor" once or so a year to satisfy Medicare coverage of supplies and the machine if it needs repairs or replacement? Is that correct?

I see my regular physician every 3 to 6 months for monitoring blood pressure and other routine things. Does that satisfy any requirement for continued insurance coverage for CPAP as long as we discuss how I'm getting along with the treatment?

old82



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#9
(09-09-2016, 06:27 PM)Spy Car Wrote:
(09-09-2016, 05:57 PM)FrankNichols Wrote: I see mine every six months for follow ups to make sure I am not having any issues that the machine may not report. In addition to taking vitals, praising me, and wishing me a goo day, he reviews my machine log (and my sleepyhead version) and answers any questions I may have as well as explaining what he sees going on in my data. I am very happy with my sleep doctor.

This sort of relationship sounds good to me. In what form do you share your SleepyHead data with your doctor?

Bill

I take in a laptop with Sleepyhead running on it.

I brought it up by waiting until he was done, and then asking if he would look at a couple points of my data and explain what I am seeing. I pulled out the laptop and explained I found Sleepyhead easier to use than the Rezmed (I forget the name) program he uses, but I have that on the laptop also if he preferred it. He didn't care either way, and I showed him some things I didn't understand, like high (55) reparation rates occasionally, etc. and we talked about them.

I try to not use to much of his time, he is like most doctors very busy, but he is willing to talk and approved of my adjusting my own settings after discussing that a while back.

I am not a Medical professional and I don't play one on the internet.
Started CPAP Therapy April 5, 2016
I'd Rather Be Sleeping
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#10
Sorry to say, I have no more respect for doctors than I do any other trained professional who can have a major impact on my life. (e.g. diving and flight instructors, etc.) And, I treat them as consultants in a pro-active manner.

If I have questions or issues that are of concern, I proactively contact the doctor in a manner that is documented as to request date, time, and any clerical staff name involved. I follow-up my requests. If I do not receive satisfaction, I escalate the matter to the person in charge of medical services.

If you are respectful of a doctor's time and ask cogent questions backed up with some form of documentation, they usually respond affirmatively. They are not there to be your friend or to chit-chat.

Consider this: a doctor is like a programmer with a flow-chart. Both want to start at the beginning and reach a successful conclusion without bugs. For the programmer, it is known as a flowchart. For a physician it is known as a protocol. And the doctor must get a successful resolution before the patient dies or suffers additional harm.

Learn how to work the system.
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
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