I find that it is strange that your DME/provider has given you this info. Altho things change rapidly sometimes with Govt sponsored programs,,anything is possible. I have not heard of any Medicare statement to that effect..
However, Medicare is the one that set the standard sked of replacements for the durable medical equipment. Your DME's response about ordering unless its necessary, doesn't make any sense to me. The schedule of replacements is due to the fact that the Govt determined that the manufacturers product looses its intended medical value after a certain time. We all know that sometimes we use them for a lot longer periods of time.
Yesterday is history; Tomorrow is a mystery; Today is a gift; Thats why its called "The Present".
Scuttlebutt is that this is because a lot of DMEs were milking the system by always ordering many parts automatically every time they could.
Apparently, Medicare doesn't really care that much as long as the patient is initiating the request, not the DME.
Look at your mask parts and see if they're getting yellow and not sealing well. If this is happening, tell your DME and request replacements.
It may take a while before the DMEs figure out the best way to ease the process for patients to order replacement parts.
Get the free SleepyHead software 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.
My information agrees with what Archangle and Stu have described. Medicare hasn't changed their xPAP supplies' replacement schedule (i.e., 3 months for replacement mask, etc.). It's just that now you need to request a replacement from your DME. It's aimed at saving some taxpayer money, and it's easy to understand. Previously, some DMEs were automatically sending out replacement supplies to patients on Medicare's replacement schedule, whether or not they were needed by the pt. And I've read posts where the pt. didn't need or request replacement supplies but continued to receive them from the DME. It's my understanding that Medicare has also tightened up somewhat on replacing a pt.'s machine after the 5 year period has been completed. The DME now, as I understand it, needs to indicate to Medicare that the machine needs to be replaced, not simply because it's been used for five years. If the type of machine is to be changed, it must be backed up by a script from the pt's doctor.
Medicare can save more money (real money Not peanuts) if they include online providers on their DME approved list
so the patient get the right machine and Not get screwed by the DME