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How long can prescription for CPAP machine be?
#1
Warning - rant to follow  Smile !  Skip to end in bold if you want to bypass.

When I was diagnosed with severe apnea in 2015 I went through the hassle of multiple phone calls on hold forever to get my doctors office to send the prescription for my cpap supplies to ME.  I was assured it was a lifetime prescription.  I wanted the prescription so it was out of the hands of the horrible DME I was dealing with, and so that going forward I was not depending on my doctors office, DME or insurance company every time I needed a machine/mask/supplies.  I buy my supplies online and pay for everything directly even though I have insurance.

Well today when I go to buy a new machine, the supplier claims the lifetime prescription is for supplies only.  Even though it said, and I quote verbatim "downloadable compliance machine only, include all related supplies.  Duration of need: lifetime."  However there was a line above that said "future order information" that listed the machine and masks and tube and everything with an expiration of 11/2016 .  The supplier I have ordered from claims that line refers to my cpap machine, though to me it just reads like the insurance order that was for the DME.

So once again my health is in the hands of our medical bureaucracy even though I did everything possible to make sure this didn't happen.  Argh!  So I called doctors office and now await a reply and hope it's not 2 weeks of back and forth trying to explain what I need.

Anyhow, that long rant brings me to my question, can anyone tell me if you have a lifetime prescription that applies to your cpap machine? If not, how long have you gotten one for?

p.s. Based on a call I just received from doctors office I suspect this could be a screwed up cpap supplier, but still waiting for response directly from doctor.
Thank You
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#2
Hi Dreams of Green,
My prescription says 99 month, 99 = lifetime, it looks like it's for everything.
Hang in there for more answers to your question and I don't blame you for the rant.
trish6hundred
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#3
Suppliers sometimes ask for annual renewal of a prescription just to cover their ass for insurance purposes. A prescription for life is good for whoever will sell you the equipment. I still have my 2008 prescription scanned, but the DME is not impressed.
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#4
Medicare which most DMEs follow their rules now require an annual recertification. All it is is a note from your primary care doc , nurse prac, or even a dentist that states you still benefit from the machine.

If you don't want to mess with another study and your paying a nurse prac can prescribe a cpap and DME will honor it.
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#5
It seems you can use a perscription online indefinitely, but not so with a DME.

My DME would not honor the "lifetime" perscription on file.  They told me that Medicare now requires yearly proof from your Doctor, regardless how long you've been on Cpap, and they (meaning the DME) require that a new script be sent to them every year.   Sad
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#6
Dispensing and claiming against insurance are two different things.

If you have cash money and a script in hand, you can buy from anyone. You probably would not want to buy from your DME however, since they will likely want full retail price. Many of the online vendors (likely ALL of the online vendors) will sell/dispense against a lifetime Rx. At a tiny fraction of what your DME is likely to charge.

Heck, I've seen (and bought) a top of the line (although a still great, last generation) Respironics auto (560) for around $300.... That was one that would sell for around $650 online when it was the current model. And the full retail was probably over $1,000 which is what your DME would want.

OMMOHY
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#7
Thought I posted yesterday, but I guess it hung up. It could be a screwed up supplier, but are you dealing with one of the major online suppliers or some local outfit? My pharmacist told me some months ago that lifetime prescriptions do not generally apply to durable medical equipment, just supplies. Also, in my experience, if you want to pay cash for something, you need to find a company that does zero business with Medicare or insurance companies because their books are audited and they are often written up for cash sales even though it did not go through insurance. I had zero trouble getting a machine through an online retailer with just a copy of my prescription written almost 2 years ago (and there is nothing on there saying 'lifetime').

Finally, and this sucks for anybody with a chronic problem, many states' medical boards are passing rules eliminating lifetime prescriptions to 10 years or even 5 years. They are doing this as a protection for patients, but those who don't need such protections end up with more doctor visits as well.
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#8
(02-11-2017, 07:06 PM)Mosquitobait Wrote: Finally, and this sucks for anybody with a chronic problem, many states' medical boards are passing rules eliminating lifetime prescriptions to 10 years or even 5 years.  They are doing this as a protection for patients, but those who don't need such protections end up with more doctor visits as well.

No interest groups would be involved in such action.  (sarcasm)
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#9
No more than 2 pages.
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#10
(02-12-2017, 01:01 PM)player Wrote: No more than 2 pages.

So for most it would not exceed 22" for standard US letter size?.  Maybe 28" long if the doc used legal size?
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