(09-18-2012 05:22 PM)Gaspnea Wrote: Wow, thanks guys. Lots of different things here to consider. The machine they would have given me today was a ResMed Elite S9 with a humidifier that can be used optionally. The wireless transponder or whatever you call it hooks onto the back of the machine, which means that machine has built-in little hooks where it attaches. So does that mean that ResMed is in kahoots (sp?) with Blue Cross and Carecentrics? Hah! I didn't think of that 'til now. Like...hmmm...why would that machine have those attachment hooks? Anyway, I'll ask my doctor for the actual Rx and then check out of those supplier sites you posted. I'm bummed about this because I really wanted to start using the machine tonight and start to get my brain back! I'll post back when I have answers so maybe others can benefit from the info. Thanks again!
The S9 Elite is a fine machine. It would be better to have an S9 AutoSet, but you may have trouble getting a DME to "upgrade" to the S9 AutoSet unless the doctor prescribes a pressure range.
Basically the AutoSet can do everything the Elite does, plus it has a few more options. The DMEs usually make a smaller profit on the AutoSet, so many of them will try to sell you the Elite. It will provide the therapy prescribed by the doctor, so this is "OK," as far as they're concerned.
Be sure to NOT buy an S9 Escape, Escape Auto, or a Respironics Plus machine. They have limited data.
Some years back, they started putting memory cards in CPAP machines to collect data. This is actually in your best interest. A good doctor or a smart patient can read the data on these cards and figure out a lot about how well the CPAP is working, and your doctor can even adjust your therapy remotely. (If you have one of the machines that records good data.)
The insurance "compliance" requirement has been in the CPAP machines for a long time. Even without the memory cards. The machine would track how many nights you use the machines over 4 hours and some other stuff. You'd have to phone in some numbers or bring the machine in to the DME to verify compliance.
Adding the removable memory cards makes it easier on the patient. You mail them the card, they check it, adjust your therapy settings on the card, then mail it back to you. It saves you time and money, and gets you better treatment if they do it right.
The wireless transmitter is called a "modem." It works through the cell phone system. ResMed and Respironics offer this option to all their DMEs for a monthly fee. It's actually in your best interest because it's less work than mailing in the card, and your doctor/DME can check your results nightly, find problems, give you advice, and adjust your therapy remotely.
If you go through your insurance, you will be monitored, at least for usage. Even if you don't have the modem. In theory, that is. Many of them never actually check.
You are right on one thing. The manufacturers consider the DMEs, doctors, and insurance companies to be their customers, not the patients. Most patients are sheep who take what the Godlike doctor gives them.