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Is it me or the DME?
#1
After purchasing my CPAPs, masks and supplies for several years from Supplier #1, I finally decided to 'bend' to Medicare rules requiring me to buy from an 'approved' DME. As luck would have it, there is one about a mile from the house. I contacted them first via the phone and then by email, requesting information as to what using their service would cost me out-of-pocket for the equipment/supplies that I require.

Their response was less than encouraging. Basically, they wanted a copy of the doc's script and Letter of Medical Necessity, then they'd be "willing to work with me and my doctor". They couldn't/wouldn't tell me if they even carried the masks and supplies I need. Maybe I'm being unreasonable expecting information without 'proper documentation' but aren't they in the business of providing a service? Huhsign Guess I'll have to hop on the trike and pay them a visit! Thinking-about
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 OPINIONS ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF FACT.
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#2
Of course you are being unreasonable! You are just a patient! You don't need any information about your care! Too-funny
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
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#3
Many brick and mortar DMEs that work primarily with Medicare/Insurance companies are like that... very little in the way of actual customer service to you (the patient).

Online DMEs, on the other hand, are usually pretty good in providing customer service (to you, the patient).

What's the difference, you ask?

The difference is this: Who do they consider the customer to be?

Two answers, generally-speaking:

1. Brick and mortar DMEs see Medicare and/or Insurance companies as "their customer" (the one who pays them).

2.
Online DMEs see you (the patient) as "their customer" (because it's you who pays them).

Scenario:
A brick and mortar DME gets two phone voice mail messages... one from an Insurance company and the other from a sleep apnea patient.... guess which phone call gets returned the quickest?

Coffee
SuperSleeper
Apnea Board Administrator
www.ApneaBoard.com


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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#4
[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQfBF4hspHzWBT0t5op6BB...PnmXM4eXZA]
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#5
Yeah, they're scum. The only thing that's reasonable to ask for is a prescription.
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.
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#6
I agree with what has been posted here -- the problem is who they see as their customer. Never mind that quality companies are fully capable of recognizing they have multiple customers. It may not help with our individual situations, but I think we should all complain to whoever sees us as the customer. That may be our physician, if they are enlightened. That may be the insurance company, or even our employer if it is employer sponsored insurance.

For some reason sleep apnea patients are treated like idiots who can't understand their own treatment. Whenever I get the "we need a prescription" line I wonder who is out there trying to buy cpap masks for the black market?

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#7
Got a call from the local DME this afternoon, they were ordering me my requested supplies but still could/would not tell me the price of each piece. Also, they wanted to know what size headgear/mask I needed. The office staff was surprised that the Respironics Optilife headgear only came in one size and the manufacturer's packaging contained four different sizes of pillows (though I did hear their warehouse man confirm what I told them).

Since this is starting to look like a 'special order', I can't wait to see the invoice for this. Ohwell
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 OPINIONS ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF FACT.
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#8
Local DMEs... gotta love 'em. Rolleyes
SuperSleeper
Apnea Board Administrator
www.ApneaBoard.com


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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#9
(09-13-2012, 08:08 AM)PollCat Wrote: Maybe I'm being unreasonable expecting information without 'proper documentation' but aren't they in the business of providing a service?

This is the real problem with healthcare in the US. Government regulations are a result of the insurance companies' lobbying efforts. Instead of a free market where providers have to provide a service to their patients we have a regulated market where providers have to negotiate the web of regulations.

They can't even tell you, the patient, what their services will cost.

Sleepster
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


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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#10
The DME could tell you what they charge, but they won't, because they charge different insurers, policies and people different amounts for the same thing, depending on what they can get (away with). People rightfully think this is unfair and greedy. That's why DMEs won't discuss pricing, even to the point of losing business over it.

I had similar problems with obtuse DMEs. I wanted them to tell me what equipment they would provide, and/or give me some choices of equipment. Their reply was "no." When I pressed, they told me they wouldn't do business with me.

Aren't there changes afoot in how Medicare will pay for sleep med related services and supplies? I read that somewhere, but I can't find anything online.
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