I am with Kaiser, and there is a annual meeting scheduled with a Respiratory Therapist- and I can send a message via Kaiser website whenever i have a concern or question, and then can go in for an additional appointment as necessary.
My RT retired, so right now I am between RT's, so if I have a question I have to either send a message to my sleep doctor (a pulmonologist) or call and leave a message and wait for someone to return my call.
Kaiser also has a drop in clinic once per week, where you can go in and a sleep doc and or technician will help you in order of when you arrived at the Drop in Clinic.
Bill, I'm also on Medicare and have used a hospital-based sleep center for the two sleep studies I've had since starting out. This sleep center is staffed by a local practice group of pulmonologists, some of whom also have the sleep medicine sub-specialty (sleep docs). Apparently, Medicare made some rule changes a few years ago now requiring pts. to see a doc once per year for the DME to sell supplies including masks, etc. to pts.
I found out when I tried unsuccessfully to get a new mask from my DME after not having seen a sleep doc for several years. So, that brought me back to seeing the sleep doc once per year. The last time I saw him, he suggested that there really wasn't a need to see him for 18 months and still remain on the DME's "active" list. My understanding is that this is all governed by Medicare, not the docs or DMEs.
I've seen three sleep doctors. One of them never returned my calls. The next told me that if I had problems after using the machine it was probably in my head. And it was only the third one that actually told me what was going on with me, gave me helpful information, and did another sleep test to make sure all the bases were covered.
I live in a major metropolitan area and these are large hospitals. One of the hospitals I like for almost everything EXCEPT their sleep department.
All this is to say, if you don't like a doctor, just keep looking. A lot of doctors are fantastic and some are just whackos, just like any other field. Smart whacks to get thru medical school, but still whackos all the same.
Doctors didn't catch I had sleep apnea my ENTIRE life. Now, if I don't like a doctor, for anything, they breathe wrong, look at me funny, I just have a bad feeling, they're gone. There are thousands and thousands of doctors where I live. If you live in an area that has a large supply of doctors and your doctor is providing anything short of perfect care for you, I say, drop them and see someone else who will.