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How to choose new DME
#1
Question 
How to choose new DME
I’m unsure whether to stay with my DME of 5 years or switch. Just changed doctors, due for machine replacement. The new office just sent me a list and only one is local and appears at face value to be better than my current one. New office never even heard of the DME I use and encouraged me to switch.

My question is how do you know you’re not jumping out of the frying pan into the fire?

Current DME no longer has a web option, it’s email and phone only for supplies. So I have to keep track. They are usually very nice to communicate with, though lately they alternate between very helpful for problems and seeming to stall. They sent me the wrong head strap for instance, and I’ve gone in circles so much with them saying they sent it but they did not, so I finally just bought one off amazon. I currently need a rental since my machine is dying, they tell me they don’t have any and then when I was talking to support troubleshooting my machine that guy said they do have bipap rentals (so I am still waiting for a call or email back on that, again they’re stalling on this too). Love/ hate relationship.

The DME I am looking to change to is very close, has a fantastic website and looks to be very easy to contact via web, phone, email. I’m waiting for insurance to get back to me to see if this DME is in network. This one has good reviews. But really don’t know if they’d be any better than my current one.

My other choices are things like Apria and Lincare lol, I’ve seen enough from this forum to know to avoid them.
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#2
RE: How to choose new DME
I'm no DME supplier expert. When I was presented my CPAP machine back in Sept. of 2018, it was from a local DME that has now either gone out-of-business or moved away. 

I only returned to that particular DME once, and that was for a replacement air filter door to my machine. I can't recall how I happened to come to using the one I have now. It's called ROTECH HEALTHCARE, and they are out of Murray, KY. I believe they also have an establishment somewhere in FL.

Anyways, they have been 100% great. I do everything online. They have a chatroom that you can use to discuss issues or request equipment. They send me email reminders when it's time for new supplies. They will verify what you are currently using before they ship. You can change back & forth when it comes to the supplies, no problem. I have done that with my masks. 

We do have a relatively new business in town that deals with home healthcare stuff. I've yet to visit it though. No need to as I'm very pleased with ROTECH. 

I think it's okay for me to mention my DME by name, as long as I don't post up a link. If I somehow violated this forum's posting guidelines, make whatever correct is needed.
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#3
RE: How to choose new DME
Take a look at the wiki on DME here.
Dave

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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEBSITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#4
RE: How to choose new DME
The most important part about selecting a DME is that they are in-network for your insurance or for that they accept "Assignment" for Medicare. https://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-c...assignment

Accepting a list from your doctor is a bit like taking a list of auto-parts providers from your mechanic. Your doctor should work with whatever company you choose and that is accepted by your insurance. The DME has to process the insurance claim and fulfill any prescription as quickly as possible, then follow-up and support you and your doctor as you fulfill any compliance requirements of insurance. Your doctor's office list of providers is okay to consider, just make sure they are in-network, or accept assignment.
Sleeprider
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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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#5
RE: How to choose new DME
Yes I found the wiki quite helpful, thank you Dave.

So I decided to change DME. Time will tell how good they are. So far they are great and I’m not even signed up with them yet. I was able to get through to them a whole day faster than my insurance! The only hiccup now seems to be the absolute disorganization of my new doctor’s office, as they have now pulled and resent messages to me so I’ve had to write back and confirm for the third time my DME choice.

I’m sure learning a lot about how to communicate more effectively thanks to this forum. Does it seem strange that we as patients often end up having to orchestrate everything? Ive always felt like every doctor just assumes I have the same medical education they have, and the office workers think patients know all about how this all works. Why would we need them if it was only to sign a little prescription pad?
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