I wanted to jump on the previous comment that, if your current CPAP machine is 10 years old, you will benefit from the newer technology! I think I can safely leave out modifiers like "likely" or "probably." The newer machines not only have better therapy capabilities, but they also have data capabilities and convenience features that I'm sure you would enjoy and likely make your therapy more effective.
Same goes for your sleep study. 10 years is a long time to not "tweak" any medical treatment. No doctor would give you a 10 year prescription for any medication. Just like meds, you need to be tested and your treatment adjusted according to how you've changed.
As far as selecting a doctor, as stated above, most insurance companies have a referral service you can call. It is primarily there to ensure you can verify "in network" status, but they should be able give you contact information for local Sleep Specialists. After that, you just have to choose. Doctors are just like the rest of us, someone had to graduate last in their class. I think you'll find the use of technicians for machine education and setup pretty much the norm now. Doctor's no longer have the time for face to face with patients and insurance won't pay them to sit with you for an hour.
Lastly, likely as important as your doctor, is the Durable Medical Equipment (DME) provider you choose. These are the people who will actually sell you the CPAP equipment and likely teach you how to use it. This is the company that you're going to be dealing with month in and month out. I know you hear more about bad things, but on this forum we hear a lot about bad DME's. If you get to that point, post here about which equipment they are recommending, etc. and we can help ensure you get a capable system that will help your treatment.
We're here to help, please keep us up to date.
I was diagnosed in 2004 and only recently became interested in all this so have been through the same thing. The new machines are great! I guess I never realized how bad the old ones were until I got the one I have now! Good luck on your search, you are going to love this new technology!
As always, YMMV! You do not have to agree or disagree, I am not a professional so my mental meanderings are simply recollections of things from my own life.
PRS1 - Auto - A-Flex x2 - 12.50 - 20 - Humid x2 - Swift FX
Hi kthornsberry, WELCOME! to the forum,! and keep us posted on your findings, best of luck.
OK. Thanks all. I can definately find the doctors that are board certified or belong to the academy and my insurance is somewhat helpful but doesn't actually list sleep medicine in their directory--I just have to look up Pulmonologists and Neurologists and dig further. I have also identified the hospitals with sleep centers and the independant sleep centers in my area. I was really just checking to see if you have any advice for how to sort through this list to weed out the doctors for which sleep medicine is just an add on.
Pertaining to your other comments: I do have a slightly newer CPAP. About 4 years ago I needed a smaller CPAP that could run off a battery because my job was requiring international travel with 15 hour flights. My medical equipment provider sold me a AEIOmed Everest 3 off my old prescription. I liked it, especially for the integrated battery. Now the airlines are requiring FAA approval on a CPAP and AEIOmed went out of business when their factory burned so I probably need to look into battery powered FAA approved machines too but for now I just want to get my therapy retitrated.
Actually, the part that is really embarassing is that I'm breathing through a mask that is close to four years old. The straps are showing the wear pretty bad and the gel has seen better days as well.
Thanks for the input. I know how to develop a list of sleep specialists in my community that my insurance accepts but what I am really seeking is any input on how to high-grade my options within that list.
My suggestion is to not go to one that provides the machines as well. Conflict of interest but is far too common.
Look for one that also has support meetings or mentions it to you.
Ask how long it would take to get the appt. then how long it would take to get the sleep study (which you do need).
Ask if they are in favor of APAPs.
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Breathe deeply and count to zen.
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kthornsberry--Regarding your desire to "high grade my options," I am not aware that sleep medicine is the single specialty of any docs practicing clinically in the U.S. Rather, sleep medicine is a recognized sub-specialty available to docs in seven specialties who complete training and successfully pass board certification exams in sleep medicine as a sub-specialty.