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Doctor/DME Scam?
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HoseHead58 Offline

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Post: #1
Doctor/DME Scam?
I went online to find the mask costs, and then called the doctor's office and requested my prescription be sent to me! They wanted to know why and I told them. The doctor refuses to provide me with a prescription since he only wants me to use the DME because of "quality issues" at unknown sites.
When I pushed back on that, stating that it was a brand name and was similar to buying a brand name contact lenses, cheese, wine or anything else I would be placing into my body, they came up with other excuses.

Is this just a scam in which the doctors and DME office are working together? Perhaps the doctor even owns the DME business or gets a % kickback. I'm wondering how hard it would be to start a DME business (guaranteed repeat clients, growth industry, ...)
11-28-2013 06:18 AM
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jgjones1972 Offline

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Post: #2
RE: Doctor/DME Scam?
Probably knows the owner and/or RT, he and his office staff probably get freebies and free lunches from them or could be full-blown cash kick back. In any case, any quality issues would be with manufacturers, not retailers/suppliers - so he was blowing smoke and likely involved in some sort of unethical (possibly illegal) shenanigans.
11-28-2013 08:42 AM
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mdh235 Offline

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Location: West Coast U.S.

Post: #3
RE: Doctor/DME Scam?
(11-28-2013 06:18 AM)HoseHead58 Wrote:  I'm wondering how hard it would be to start a DME business (guaranteed repeat clients, growth industry, ...)

Having just started dealing with a DME, I have a few suggestions as to how you need to run your business if you want to be successful.

1) Make it difficult for your customers to do business with you. If you have a phone number, don't answer it. Have a message tell the customer to leave a call back number, then don't.

2) Never, under any circumstances, consider setting up a web site for your customers to review their billing, order supplies, etc. Who are you in business for, you or them?

3) Have frequent personnel turnovers, so if, by mistake, you hire somebody competent who is customer focused you can get rid of them before they do too much damage to your reputation.

4) If, by some error on your part, a customer does manage to make contact and order a part, screw the order up. If you've followed item #1, they won't be able to contact you to do anything about it.

If the customer set up a standing order at the time they picked up their equipment, screw that up, too.

5) Make your pricing/billing as incomprehensible as possible. Bill for things you never provided. After all, it's the customer's responsibility to prove they never receive it, not yours.

6) Above all, act like you just don't give a damn, because you don't (if you do, you're in the wrong business). You've got direct access your customer's insurance company. That's where you need to put your best effort.
11-28-2013 09:25 AM
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jgjones1972 Offline

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Machine: ResMed S9 AutoSet
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CPAP Software: ResScan SleepyHead

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Location: Ohio - USA

Post: #4
RE: Doctor/DME Scam?
mdh235 hit the nail right on the head.

When you go to a brick and mortar DME, they usually don't view you as the customer...they view the Doctor that sent you there or the insurance provider as the customer - so many of them don't see any reason to provide good service to you - you are just considered a nuisance by them.

That's been my experience.

On-line suppliers know you have a choice and assume you shop around...it's amazing how much that changes things.
11-28-2013 10:32 AM
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drgrimes Offline

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Post: #5
RE: Doctor/DME Scam?
I am lucky, my DME is run by the owner and one other guy. They are both BIG TIME cpap users so when I drop by, they make me coffee and we compare war stories. They have been pretty straight shooters. We all know that profit and money are the root of all this.

My guys have helped me dealing with the sleep doctor. They helped me get the new RX when I switched to the Autoset. They have been pretty honest about their relationship with the doctor and how to get what I want/need.

Right now I have bigger ethics concerns with the doctor's office than I do with the DME. I know it's frustrating.
11-28-2013 10:45 AM
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zonk Offline

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Location: Australia

Post: #6
RE: Doctor/DME Scam?
Its against the law to deny a copy of the prescription , its your right and you need the copy to buy stuff in case of emergency or away from home. In US you cannot buy mask, machine/humidifier without a valid prescription
11-28-2013 12:31 PM
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me50 Offline

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Post: #7
RE: Doctor/DME Scam?
(11-28-2013 12:31 PM)zonk Wrote:  Its against the law to deny a copy of the prescription , its your right and you need the copy to buy stuff in case of emergency or away from home. In US you cannot buy mask, machine/humidifier without a valid prescription

and some DME's in the US require a script for chin straps although I can't understand why. I really don't understand why a prescription is needed for a mask either because if there is a script for CPAP machines, then it is a given that a mask is needed.

My doc just wrote a script for the machine and supplies (with the exception of the climate line hose).

Everyone is correct. You are entitled to your script and your complete and accurate medical records and if they refuse, I would be reporting them to

your insurance company if you are insured and
the medical board
11-28-2013 03:10 PM
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archangle Online
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Post: #8
RE: Doctor/DME Scam?
Even if it's entirely honest and aboveboard, it's probably illegal for the doctor to limit where you have the prescription filled.

If you're in the US, look up HIPAA and medical records. Threatening them with HIPAA tends to get their attention.

Be aware your insurance may limit you to certain DMEs if you want to get paid.

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.
12-03-2013 12:47 AM
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simplysara Offline

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Location: Texas

Post: #9
RE: Doctor/DME Scam?
(11-28-2013 09:25 AM)mdh235 Wrote:  
(11-28-2013 06:18 AM)HoseHead58 Wrote:  I'm wondering how hard it would be to start a DME business (guaranteed repeat clients, growth industry, ...)

Having just started dealing with a DME, I have a few suggestions as to how you need to run your business if you want to be successful.

1) Make it difficult for your customers to do business with you. If you have a phone number, don't answer it. Have a message tell the customer to leave a call back number, then don't.

2) Never, under any circumstances, consider setting up a web site for your customers to review their billing, order supplies, etc. Who are you in business for, you or them?

3) Have frequent personnel turnovers, so if, by mistake, you hire somebody competent who is customer focused you can get rid of them before they do too much damage to your reputation.

4) If, by some error on your part, a customer does manage to make contact and order a part, screw the order up. If you've followed item #1, they won't be able to contact you to do anything about it.

If the customer set up a standing order at the time they picked up their equipment, screw that up, too.

5) Make your pricing/billing as incomprehensible as possible. Bill for things you never provided. After all, it's the customer's responsibility to prove they never receive it, not yours.

6) Above all, act like you just don't give a damn, because you don't (if you do, you're in the wrong business). You've got direct access your customer's insurance company. That's where you need to put your best effort.

Thanks
This cracked me up!
I am also taking it as an important word of caution as I enter the wild world of CPAP supplies!
12-04-2013 02:40 PM
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trish6hundred Online

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Sex: Female
Location: Missouri, USA

Post: #10
RE: Doctor/DME Scam?
Hi simplysara, WELCOME! to the forum.!
Best of luck to you with your CPAP therapy

trish6hundred
12-04-2013 07:46 PM
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