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[Diagnosis] Prescription "without" onsite Sleep Study?
#1
Is there anyone within Ontario that has successfully acquired a CPAP prescription WITHOUT going to a sleep clinic/sleep lab for a sleep apnea study?

I have heard of In-Home options that use either a CPAP auto unit or a portable system of sensors. I stumbled onto a website for a CPAP RX Package for $99 from Easybreathe, but that screams of being a scam/cash grab.

While I believe medical professionals have a strong value in society, like lawyers, I believe some aspect of the industry are overvalued beyond absurdity.

Yes, I understand that the Ontario Government pays a portion of a new CPAP machine every 5-years and that my insurance company will pay 80%. Thank goodness, because the industry is clearly overpricing these units substantially, but I'll be damned if I'm forced to undergo another on-site sleep study. There is no reason sleep apnea cannot be assessed from the comfort of ones home with less BS to stick all over your body. It's amazing they don't toss in some leaches, electroshock or perform a bloodletting for good measure... but I digress.

I live within the Greater Toronto Area in Canada. I've had two sleep studies in my life and in both instances (at two different clinics), it has been the worst few hours I've had to endure with the craziest nightmares.... So thanks, but no thanks!!!

There is no convincing me of ever returning for another sleep study. I have already spent the last 8+ years avoiding the second part of the study for prescribing the CPAP pressure. Yes, that's right, I am proudly self medicated. The default pressure that was prescribed was 6, but I found 16 to be comfortable for me.

I'm always amused by the reactions I get from industry professionals when this fact comes out, as if I'm popping pain medication or risking blowing my lungs from my chest. Ridiculous. Luckily there are good people in the world that give us the opportunity to hack the CPAP security and allow us to control our machine settings.

I have all the usual symptoms of sleep apnea, but what I found interesting and surprising at the time when I was diagnosed was that my airway closes and I stop breathing 63 times an hour.

My CPAP machine is over 5 years old and isn't functioning properly. There's a problem with the main system that's preventing my humidifier from turning on. It only beeps and flashes a light. The CPAP also randomly shuts off once or twice a night, turning back on automatically just after waking me up gasping for air.

Aside from that, the system works well enough, but I need to get a new one before this one decides to stop working - Thank you built-in obsolescence!

My efforts to bypass the sleep clinic process has been met with the same nonsense from every professional I've asked: Family Doctor -> Referral -> Sleep Clinic = Prescription. Industry brainwashing at its finest.

Sorry, this was not intended to be a rant, but my frustration did bleed out a little. In closing, I go back to my original question:

"Is there anyone within Ontario that has successfully acquired a CPAP prescription WITHOUT going to a sleep clinic/sleep lab for a sleep apnea study?" If so, please share the details.

Thank you.
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#2
You need a prescription but even in Canada, if you are paying out of pocket, you do not need a sleep study. If you want the health system to pay, you have to jump the hoops. That said, Canadian health system is as much into saving money as everyone else. Give a call and find out if the office you might consider does home sleep studies. You may not even need it given you already had one and use a Cpap regularly. It's worth a shot. I would not have met Medicare's criteria for a cpap had I had a home study, but my problem was more associated with a slow heart rate and RERAs. You would clearly qualify.
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#3
Hi InTouch28,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Hang in there for more answers to your question and much success to you with self-treating your apnea.
trish6hundred
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#4
I went to Kaiser Permanente, they gave me an in-home sleep apnea test. They send you to a one hour orientation on how to hook up the equipment, send you home with the equipment, you connected as instructed, sleep, then bring back the equipment.

A doctor goes over the test results, and then based on the results prescribed the equipment in order of how severe your sleep apnea. I had severe sleep apnea, so they got me my equipment within 20 days. Those with mild apnea could wait 6-8 weeks. They schedule you a followup appointment with a technician about a month later, he evaluates feedback from the machine and makes adjustments to your prescription.

The cost of the test was about $180, which I paid $30 per co-pay.

There were 6 people in my orientation, and the person doing the orientation said there were approximately 700 people a month getting the test in this fashion in the Portland Oregon USA area through Kaiser.
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#5
InTouch,

I'm not sure how it is in Ontario, but here in Alberta, the DME's are willing to do the in-home / take home sleep studies and their doc looks at the results. If the doc says "yeah, you need one" then a prescription follows (usually given to the DME to get you your gear....but if you ask, they are supposed to give you a copy of the 'script).

If all you need is the prescription, then that might be an option (assuming it is the same in ON as it is in AB).
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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#6
InTouch28 while I'm a couple hundred miles south I wrote much the same things. I opted to buy a used machine, download SleepyHead, and pester the good folks here and am most pleased I did. If I buy a used machine every few yrs out of pocket it works out to less than $3USD per week. I don't have any stress from dealing with bureaucratic BS and get exactly the machine I want.
So you decide how much crap you wanna take and go from there.
Good luck!
I use my PAP machine nightly and I feel great!
Updated: Philips Respironics System One (60 Series)
RemStar BiPAP Auto with Bi-FlexModel 760P -
Rise Time x3 Fixed Bi-Level EPAP 9.0 IPAP 11.5 (cmH2O)
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#7
I wanted to add that I agree with you that it is nonsense that your primary care doc won't write a script to get you a replacement for a medical device you are already proven to need and have used for over 5 years. Same problem in my clinic. Unless you were prescribed for reasons other than apnea, it's tough to get someone other than a cardiologist to write you a script for a machine replacement without insisting on another sleep study. With an auto machine, it should be unnecessary unless you are having problems.
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#8
Go to secondwindcpap on line. They likely ship to Canada.
Coffee



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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#9
der SuperSleeper prefers we say Supplier #2. They ship even to Oz, so Canada should be good to go.
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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#10
Welcome IT28...

In BC as far as my experience has been the DMEs are OK dealing with insurance, they don't seem to write prescriptions as far as I know..

Supplier #2 does require a prescription, you might want to email them to ask for assistance...
They are a great company I have purchased from them, great service, I am sure they will help you...

I was lucky with my GP. when she saw the hoops I was having to jump through she said tell me what you need, provide the data and I will write the Rx

all the best,

Storywizard
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