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[CPAP] Local Provider vs. Online CPAP
#1
I'm just starting my therapy -- in a 30 day trial in Canada/Maritime region. My local provider/clinic has set me up with a Resmed Airsense 10 AutoSet. I'm coming to the end of my trial period and just received the assessment from the insurance company. They cap the expense at $2000 -- at 90% and a $250. But my provider has estimated the cost of the machine and accessories at 2560$ CDN. So I would have to pay close to $1000 out of pocket. When I look online at Canadian retailers -- I can get this same device for $1100. I understand the value of having local service and support from a provider/clinic -- but the difference in price seems a bit out of whack.

Should I pay the price to the local provider -- or go with an online retailer?

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#2
Check out the suppliers at the top of the form. Reading and exploring this form will help a lot.Sleep-well
Just my personal opinion. My posts are not medical advice or a statement of fact. Please consult a qualified physician or other qualified medical personnel. Please comply with all applicable laws, codes, regulations, and protocols.
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#3
Thanks. Most of those suppliers are US based -- I'm in Canada. Regardless -- I've done the research online....I know I can get it a lot cheaper even with Canadian online suppliers -- $1000 less out of pocket if I go this route. I'm just debating the value of using a local provider vs. just going online. The difference in price seems unreasonably high.
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#4
Where I have gotten real help from my local DME is with mask fitting. When I first started using CPAP last winter, and when I switched to nasal pillows recently, they were really helpful. With my CPAP machine, though? I called once when I had first started therapy, and the respiratory therapist said "You should probably increase your C-Flex setting." (expiratory pressure relief) That's the sum total of the help I've gotten from them with CPAP issues, and it wasn't from lack of asking. I gave up and started relying on this forum.
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#5
(07-06-2016, 07:10 AM)BigDaddySnooze Wrote: I understand the value of having local service and support from a provider/clinic -- but the difference in price seems a bit out of whack.

Hello BigDaddySnoose

Welcome to the forum.

I had the same frustration here in the US with the DME (providers)

I have only been on therapy for 7 months but I have found that every thing I can get from the Local DME's is twice the price and takes three times as long to get, when compared to the online sources.

I also have not found the Local DME helpful. They typically do not want to help you mange your own therapy.

I buy my supplies online from places that allow me to return them if they don't meet my needs and then submit the receipt to my insurance or reimbursements.

Can you submit receipts for reimbursement?

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#6
Double check your insurance. Mine (Sunlife) was $2000 for the machine plus $2000 for supplies (hose, mask, filters, etc. etc). I ended up paying nothing, but I have 100% coverage with no deductible.

Unlike the US DMEs, I had excellent service here in Canada. How has your local provider been for you? I get appointments quickly and they have everything in stock. They also handle warranty problems by either replacing the machine or giving you a free loaner while repairs are being done. I found my RT to be very helpful in getting me started successfully, though this board has taken me much further after the good start.

When getting started, I'd lean towards doing it locally. With a backup machine and a better understanding of your therapy, I might be tempted to look on-line. But as long as my insurance is covering it all, I think I will continue to use my local company for the convenience and for a RT that knows what she is talking about. Buying on-line, you are guessing at mask fit and can't try and compare several options like you can locally.
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#7
BigDaddySnooze,

Some of the suppliers on the Supplier List ship outside the U.S. The worst thing that can happen is them telling "No", they don't ship to Canada.

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#8
Hi BigDaddySnooze,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Much success to you with your CPAP therapy.
trish6hundred
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#9
Thanks all for the feedback. I have a call with the local DME -- I will raise the issue then. They have been good and easy to work with --- and I always like to buy local, and certainly don't mind paying a bit more to get good service. But I feel they have misrepresented their costs by making it seem like the money is in buying the CPAP device itself. If they would represent it as both services and a cost for the device, then maybe I wouldn't feel so bitter about finding out the device they want to sell me @2500$ can be bought online for less than half the price. I also wonder if it would be treated differently by the insurance company if service was separate.
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#10
(07-06-2016, 07:10 AM)BigDaddySnooze Wrote: I'm just starting my therapy -- in a 30 day trial in Canada/Maritime region. My local provider/clinic has set me up with a Resmed Airsense 10 AutoSet. I'm coming to the end of my trial period and just received the assessment from the insurance company. They cap the expense at $2000 -- at 90% and a $250. But my provider has estimated the cost of the machine and accessories at 2560$ CDN. So I would have to pay close to $1000 out of pocket. When I look online at Canadian retailers -- I can get this same device for $1100. I understand the value of having local service and support from a provider/clinic -- but the difference in price seems a bit out of whack.

Should I pay the price to the local provider -- or go with an online retailer?

Something to remember: it is the manufacturer's warranty and they can supply a list of local companies to provide this service if something does wrong (which rarely happens).

Therefore, using an internet provider or separating your purchase of a machine from a local DME who tracks compliance and initially sets the machine is not a risky move.

In all cases, your doctor can usually set the machine in their office and you avoid a trip to the DME.

As long as you use one of the large manufacturers like ResMed or Phillips, it is not a risk. Make sure your internet provider has a good reputation and that you are getting a "new machine." If you can, pay through a method that offers you product protection and dispute resolution like a credit card or PayPal.

Before doing anything else, check the total number of hours the machine has been used. If you need problems with accessing the number or settings, this forum is superb in providing assistance.

Good luck.

"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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