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[Equipment] Extreme hostile sales tactics from a clinic - anyone?
#1
Husband and I are both new CPAP users, having only completed the home testing and a month-long trial with the ResMed AirSense 10 Autoset. His followup appointment for his trial end was today.

So while going through the trial time we have been looking at other sources for our machine, as our clinic wants to sell us a bundle of the machine, bag, cleaning wipes, hose and mask for about $2600. Our coverage is for $2000 so we decided rather than blindly paying $600 out of pocket, we should shop around for a better price on the machine. Lo and behold we found that on sites like Canada CPAP Supply we could get machine, bag, hose and mask for about $1300 for all the same equipment we've been trying out.

Today at husband's appointment, he brought this up with the clinician. Basically asking if they could reduce the price, not necessarily to match the online pricing, but at least enough to bring our total below our coverage amount. And barring that option, would they (for a fee) set up the new machine if we decided to order it from somewhere else. We didn't think this would be an issue since we've been through the home test, the trial, we have a legitimate prescription and we would be ordering only the same equipment we're already using.

The clinician got quite confrontational with my husband and handed him a printed memo which used some very strong language that I think can only be intended to pressure/coerce clients into buying from their clinic. I've attached the memo with the clinic name redacted, but the gist of it was this:
- buying our equipment online would be illegal
- buying our equipment online would void all manufacturer warranties
- they would refuse to provide any future services if we purchased online

After coming home today I made a list of online suppliers (just a few of the many) and I called ResMed directly. The nice man on the other end of my call (once he understood that we already had prescriptions) was able to confirm that we definitely CAN purchase our equipment online, that manufacturer warranty is still present as long as we purchase from an authorized dealer, that ANY authorized dealer can service our equipment and we don't have to go to the same place it was purchased, and he even confirmed four online sources that are ResMed authorized dealers.

Our clinic has also told us verbally that should we decide to go somewhere else to purchase our equipment (or for any other services) they will not provide us with any of our own test results or CPAP machine data as that belongs to them. In Alberta, this is illegal under the Health Information Act - they can charge a fee but cannot hold our data hostage.

So it seems obvious that all of this is an attempt to force us to buy from them. Has anyone else experience this type of hostility and high-pressure sales tactics from their own clinic?


Attached Files
.pdf   ClinicianMemo001.pdf (Size: 103.91 KB / Downloads: 124)
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#2
Welcome

We see the same thing occur in the US. Not all, but some suppliers are nasty about losing a sale. That's where the money is for them.
In the US, the HIPPA law basically says the patient owns their medical data.
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#3
well, I would under no circumstances buy anything from that DME. I think I might stand on my head to sleep first.... lol. Whatever hoops you have to jump through or monies you may pay later it will be better and probably a ton cheaper than dealing with the likes of those. If enough people educate themselves and do as you have, perhaps a decent business will fill in the gap when they go out of business - as they should

but let me tell you how I really feel Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin
هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه
Tongue Suck Technique for prevention of mouth breathing:
  • Place your tongue behind your front teeth on the roof of your mouth
  • let your tongue fill the space between the upper molars
  • gently suck to form a light vacuum
Practising during the day can help you to keep it at night

هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه
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#4
Name and shame? The document you posted is in the public domain and not addressed directly to you

The forum members here can help you set up your machines
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#5
(11-30-2016, 12:31 AM)crystalcalliou Wrote: Our clinic has also told us verbally that should we decide to go somewhere else to purchase our equipment (or for any other services) they will not provide us with any of our own test results or CPAP machine data as that belongs to them. In Alberta, this is illegal under the Health Information Act - they can charge a fee but cannot hold our data hostage.

It is not unusual for an equipment vendor or clinic to bully first-time users by pointing out all of the dire consequences if you change settings or purchase your equipment elsewhere.

I suggest you escalate the matter to management as a courtesy, by sending a letter to document your treatment. Be specific: dates, times, names, and conversation summaries. You might also suggest that you feel that the clinic is trying to coerce you into purchasing your equipment and supplies from them at a price that is clearly a competitive disadvantage. Make a formal request for your prescription, sleep study results, and machine compliance data.
Send a copy to whoever is providing your coverage.

Be strong. If you purchase the equipment on the internet, your physician can review the data and suggest initial settings. Read the forum for suggestions on settings and other issues pertaining to your situation. Download and install SleepyHead to monitor your own progress and keep track of relevant information.

Best of 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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#6
The Clinicians Memo you posted is laughable. This is definitely a scare tactic. You need to point out that it is illegal to hold your medical records.

As far as service being included, you should have at least a 2 year warranty on any new machine.

There is no way I would do business with these people.

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#7
Check your PM
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#8
I think the bottom line is, you have a prescription, and are using it to purchase equipment you know works, from an authorized reseller. The equipment will be covered by a manufacturer warranty. If you choose to continue using the technical services, it would be foolish of them to decline to service your needs. It's obvious they can acquire the equipment at the same price as Canada CPAP, and wish to make an obscene profit.

There is nothing wrong with purchasing from another authorized reseller, that uses your prescription information to setup the machine. This avoids unnecessary out of pocket expense for you, and saves the Province some health dollars as well. The answer on where to buy in this case is obvious. I'm not very familiar with the CPAP insurance policies where you live, but I would not hesitate to bring this reprehensible behavior by your current DME to their attention. I would bet it violates numerous policies, if not laws.
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#9
OMG that "memo" is 100% laughable. You should tell them they need to add;

CUSTOMERS WHO BUY THEIR EQUIPMENT ON LINE SHALL BE LED TO THE BACK WHERE THEY WILL FACE THE FIRING SQUAD AT DAWN!!

These people should be 10000% ashamed of themselves. You should attach that memo again without redacting their information, everyone on this site should know who they are and tell all the people they know to never ever even consider doing business with them. What an awful scare tactic to try and force people to buy from them, at their inflated prices, just because they can't compete. Disgusting!

I bought my machine off Craigs List for $300. The people on this site helped me set it up, and they saved me thousands of dollars. I did this not because I lack coverage but because the machine my DME initially provided didn't suit my needs and when I tried to exchange it they said they'd help me but I'd have to pay almost $1000 out of pocket so I looked for an alternative. Never once did they refuse to help me, even after knowing where I bought the machine. Nor did my Dr give me any flack, he was thrilled I took the steps to get involved in my therapy, and said he wished more of his patients would do the same.

Lucky for you you found the right place before you got a machine at a crazy price and were forced or scared into paying full price out of pocket, ridiculous.

Stick with the people here, they are the best (myself included I like to believe lol).
If everyone thinks alike, then someone isn't thinking.
Everyone knows something, together we could know everything.
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#10
I'll play Devil's Advocate. As I read it, there is nothing untrue in that memo. It is full of "certain", "some", "inappropriate" qualifiers. A lawyer has been over this. It is intended to mislead and to scare people into buying the machine from them but I don't read it as actionable

I don't know what things are like in Alberta, but in BC the DME places that I know of are staffed with Registered Respiratory Technicians who know what they are talking about. Unless you have been charged separately for those services, part of that machine price is to cover these clinical consultations, warranty support etc. Insurance won't cover that, so they need to bundle it with the machine cost.

The price for a bare, service-free machine should be lower than one that comes with services. I don't visit my local bookstore to browse and expect the same prices as on Amazon. So I can see them being unhappy if they have provided you with services that they will now not get paid for. So, before you get too angry, ask yourself if the machine cost plus a reasonable free for professional services provided (and to be provided free in the future) is really that much below what they are charging.

That said, I'd not want to have any further dealings with them. That is a lousy way to treat customers, regardless of the situation.
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