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Broken Resmed VPAP 25
#1
Hi,

I've been using this machine for about 4 years now. Honestly it is an important part of my well being. It really works.

Sadly my machine stopped working the other night. It's a ResMed VPAP 25 and during the night it started blowing air really strongly and then stopped working. The air pressure woke me up and the mask was ballooning.

I have an error 1018. I'd read that a hair dryer stream might help and tried that with no luck.

So I called my local Sleep Health Center, where I got the machine, and they have gone out of business. I called ResMed and they gave me the name of another company, and their number was disconnected... DOH!

So basically I'm wondering the following:

- Any tips for fixing it myself?
- What is the cost to repair these devices?
- Any good vendors in Massachusetts to deal with?
- Will health insurance generally pay for the repair of medically necessary equipment?
- Should I just bit the bullet and buy a new one, and if so where?

Thank you so much.

Rich from Massachusetts
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#2
Check out the supplier list at: http://www.apneaboard.com/forums/Thread-...plier-List. However, you are going to have to find a sleep doc and get a script as you can no longer buy CPAPs without one. I'd looked at the sites for your local hospitals and see if they have sleep centers. Or check with your health insurance company about sleep centers/doctors.
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 OPINIONS ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF FACT.
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#3
(03-11-2013, 10:51 AM)richc Wrote: Hi,

I've been using this machine for about 4 years now. Honestly it is an important part of my well being. It really works.

Sadly my machine stopped working the other night. It's a ResMed VPAP 25 and during the night it started blowing air really strongly and then stopped working. The air pressure woke me up and the mask was ballooning.

I have an error 1018. I'd read that a hair dryer stream might help and tried that with no luck.

So I called my local Sleep Health Center, where I got the machine, and they have gone out of business. I called ResMed and they gave me the name of another company, and their number was disconnected... DOH!

So basically I'm wondering the following:

- Any tips for fixing it myself?
- What is the cost to repair these devices?
- Any good vendors in Massachusetts to deal with?
- Will health insurance generally pay for the repair of medically necessary equipment?
- Should I just bit the bullet and buy a new one, and if so where?

Thank you so much.

Rich from Massachusetts

I've been using CPAP devices for about 15 years now. I that time I've used a variety of devices, the current one being a RedMed S9 with humidifier. Far and away the best I've ever used. I've had it about 3 years now.

One thing has become apparent to me regarding old machines: It is not cost effective to fix them. After the four years you've been using your device it has a LOT of hours on it. Health insurance, if it provides any coverage at all, will be for a new machine. I am not personally aware of there being any coverage for repairs. In fact, after I got my first machine and it died at 3 years I found that the Apnea was considered a "Pre-existing Condition" and there was NO COVERAGE. So, until I got Medicare I always bought them myself over the internet.

If you have a sleep MD (Usually a Pulmonologist in my experience) they should be able to help you. There a lots of places selling CPAP machines and equipment on the net but you will need a prescription to buy equipment.

Good Luck.

--Bob Harris Smile


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#4
(03-11-2013, 10:51 AM)richc Wrote: So I called my local Sleep Health Center, where I got the machine, and they have gone out of business. I called ResMed and they gave me the name of another company, and their number was disconnected... DOH!

If you have insurance call your insurance company and they will have a list of DME providers. If you don't have insurance try our Apnea Board Supplier List:

http://www.apneaboard.com/forums/Thread-...plier-List

Supplier #2 has a good reputation for providing gently used machines at good prices.

Either way, you'll need a copy of your original prescription, or you'll have to get a new one.

Craigslist is also a good place to buy machines if you know the various machines and how to set their pressure.
Sleepster
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


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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#5
Thank you all for your kind help. I butted heads with insurance yesterday who had this long involved process for getting a new machine. I asked them what they would do if this lengthy process affected my health and well-being? Sorry, sir, we have a process...

I did get in touch with a DME and my PC doc called in a prescription. But we still need to get insurance company approval.

Worst case I'll buy a second hand unit, or buy one from Craigslist. I may do this anyway to have a backup handy, as this has taught me the importance of this machine in my life.

It's been three days since the machine died and I'm already dragging. The CPAP is a mandatory component of my well being and I have to fight a bureaucratic mess to maintain my health.

Thank you all again.

Rich
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#6
What is the process they require for a replacement machine?
Get the free SleepyHead software here.
Useful links.
Click here for information on the main alternative to CPAP.
If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
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#7
(03-12-2013, 10:15 AM)archangle Wrote: What is the process they require for a replacement machine?

The insurance company outsources the approval process to another company. They required that my PC doc called them first, and he did.

They then required that I call a local DME. The DME needed a copy of my sleep study and a new prescription.

The woman at the DME was great, and said a lot of folks are having difficulties because their medical records are tied up at Sleep Health Centers in Massachusetts. There is a downloadable form online that can be signed and submitted for copies but apparently this has taken too much time.

My PC doc fortunately had a copy of my first sleep study and submitted that and a new prescription. DME thought they would accept that, but said they may require yet another sleep study as it is old. UGH...

But I'm in limbo at the moment. She said we might get lucky and get insurance company approval in a few days, or it might take longer and require more testing. And the insurance company really does not care that I'm living without important medical equipment. They just have a process and did not seem interested in my ongoing health.

So I"m waiting to see if I get lucky or not. But I'm sitting here falling asleep at my desk as I'm not sleeping worth a damn.
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#8
"I asked them what they would do if this lengthy process affected my health and well-being? Sorry, sir, we have a process..."

To me that means, "Maybe if we drag our feet you'll go away and we can save money by not honoring your claim"

I would tell them: "I have a process too. Either you cough up the paper work now or I stay here until I have to sleep, at which time I will drop dead in your waiting room. Then the executor of my estate has special instructions to execute in which his law firm sues your insurance company until it is bankrupt so they can buy it at pennies on the dollar. (and you get fired too)...
So would YOU like to do this the easy way or the HARD WAY?"

That's not too unreasonable is it for the cost of one VPAP?

Smile
"With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable." - Thomas Foxwell Buxton

Cool
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#9
I asked the woman at the insurance company to add a note to my record saying that this process was detrimental to my acquiring what I need for my health and well being.

She simply reiterated they had a process...
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#10
"Processes" have been known to cause chest pains and other serious but elusive symptoms that require expensive tests and overnight stays at hospitals to eliminate cause for concern.

Bigwink


Seriously though; if you were considering getting a back-up machine and can get a copy of the Rx quickly, you might want to consider getting a used one for back-up now and using it until the insurance gets straightened out and you can get a new machine. Then when you get the new insurance co. purchased one, you can pack up the back-up and hold onto it.

Supplier #2 sells used and "open box" machines at a decent price. Bi-Level machines are pretty expensive; but, for a back-up/hold over, you wouldn't necessarily need a top-o-the line model. As long as it blows air at the proper pressures it would be better than what you are using right now (which I'm assuming is nothing).

It is the expense of Bi-Level units that kind of makes me figure that the insurance co. may require another sleep study, etc and jerk you around a while before giving in.

If you don't mind my asking; why were you using Bi-Level instead of CPAP? What were the pressure settings on your old machine?
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