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New Standard for Home Healthcare Devices
#21
Your points are well taken, Arch. I'd like to point out that nearly all the points you mention (quoted below) are due to an ever-intrusive government increasing the cost of bringing new technologies to the market, for the most part.

(12-14-2012, 04:09 PM)archangle Wrote: Given that we're going to be stuck with:

[*]A broken patent system that makes it impossible for anyone other than the big boys to make devices anymore.

Absolutely correct. This is due to over-reaching regulation that makes it next to impossible for small-time CPAP manufacturers to compete, due to excessive cost of compliance with government regulation. The economies of scale is the only thing that is allowing even the big boys make devices at a profit today. No chance for innovative little guys to enter into the market due to the high cost of governmental compliance that is forced upon manufacturers.

Quote:[*]An oligopoly of device manufacturers. Be realistic. There are only two major manufacturers of CPAP machines today.

Completely correct again-- due to all the reasons I stated above. Too expensive for small companies to enter into the market and comply with all the massive regulation.


Quote:[*]A broken insurance/medical system that goes for the lowest cost choice no matter the consequences to the patient.

Again, this is due to an over-reaching desire to lower cost by legislation and regulation (government) rather than letting the free market dictate prices, where patients and doctors can make decisions. Today, we're willing to hand over the decision-making process to a nameless, faceless insurance/Medicare/Medicaid "decider", who is far-removed from the patient and doctor.

Quote:[*]Companies that will cut corners to save pennies, even though it costs lives.

Again, due to the fact that massive government regulation and taxes forces companies to use all excess funds to comply with regulations, leaving the profit margins so slim that they are forced to cut corners in order to stay competitive. Like any large business, CPAP manufacturers must attract investors, and they compete for investment dollars in the capital stock and bond markets just like any other corporation. If they don't produce a decent profit, investment money will go to where it's treated better - into other non-CPAP industries. In other words, if I had $100,000 to invest, why would I invest in a CPAP company making a return of 5% when I could invest in another industry and make a return of 7%? Profit margins matter.

Quote:[*]A broken legal system that doesn't properly punish the big guys when they do something wrong and hurt someone. And then punishes the innocent.

Completely agree. The U.S. legal system is a huge mess.

Quote:[*] A vast army of sheep consumers who wouldn't know a good, safe, machine from a bad one. The sheep outweigh us smart consumers and we'd simply be ignored.

We do need regulations to protect the interests of the consumer.

Granted, many folks don't know a bad CPAP from a good CPAP, but that is slowly changing. I think we can't completely discount patient intelligence on these issues. If given a chance, an independent and fair non-governmental system could be developed whereby CPAP machines can be rated by both patients and health care professionals - and folks can purchase them based upon those ratings and comments. To some degree that's being done with online DMEs and these forums. Heck that's done on Amazon and millions of products are sold every day based upon those ratings and comments with pretty good success. Produce a lousy product and sell it on Amazon and you'll be out of business within months. If CPAPs were sold that way, rotten products would be forced out of the market quickly.

But currently, we have a governmental Medicare and insurance reimbursement system that is responsible for DMEs actively pushing low-end brick CPAPs over data-capable CPAPs, simply because the insurance/Medicare regulations have made it more profitable for DMEs to do exactly that. In any normal unregulated market, these DMEs would try to sell you a higher-end data-capable machine, because the slightly higher cost would give them a higher profit margin. In our topsy-turvy regulatory world, we have a crazy system that motivates DMEs to sell you a piece of junk over a quality data-capable machine. That's just nuts.

Quote:I'll say it again, though. The cost to comply with these regulations will be very minimal per machine and will be well worth the cost to the patient. This stuff is just not that difficult to do.

There is only one reason why the large CPAP manufacturers will resist making these improvements: it increases cost of production. It's a simple business decision on their part. Take away the taxes and costs involved with intrusive, massive and ridiculously complicated regulatory health care laws, and it will free up all sorts of funds for companies to make a better product in response to consumer wants and needs.

But, that's probably not going to happen, given our socialistic tendencies as of late. The public will undoubtedly clamour and shout that we need our BIG BROTHER 'savior' government to come protect us from every little risk in life, and they will continue to increase taxes on both corporations and individuals, expand regulations and federally micro-manage of all these businesses; and THAT will be the death of our economy and the end of any type of sensible health care system, eventually. Heck, that process is already well under way now. I don't have high hopes that it can be reversed without first coming to a complete crash of the current unsustainable system.

Cool
SuperSleeper
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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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#22
(12-14-2012, 08:23 PM)SuperSleeper Wrote: Take away the taxes and costs involved with intrusive, massive and ridiculously complicated regulatory health care laws, and it will free up all sorts of funds for companies to make a better product in response to consumer wants and needs.
wishful thinking
[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR91a1mz9f5s1CLvEWHQ_k...wbkw5C5xHr]

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#23
(12-14-2012, 08:23 PM)SuperSleeper Wrote: Your points are well taken, Arch. I'd like to point out that nearly all the points you mention (quoted below) are due to an ever-intrusive government increasing the cost of bringing new technologies to the market, for the most part.

While I agree that our government regulation is done badly, laissez faire has been tried and hasn't worked. In the earlier years of the industrial revolution, we tried unrestricted free markets, and the results were unspeakable.

Standard oil was basically the only oil company, and set prices however they liked. Railroad robber barons ruled the roost and could stifle any competition. Big business made decisions that killed their employees (or customers) with impunity. The big trusts made secret deals and financial manipulations where a small number of robber barons ruled the country. Our food suppliers, especially meat packers, were incredible horror stories, both for how the workers were treated, and for the unsanitary processes they used.

The "enlightened consumer" economic model simply didn't work. Despite the bias in the western world for social Darwinism, the situation got so bad that the people demanded the government act.

Yes, the current system is ineffectual and inefficient at best. We really do need to reform the system. It's still enormously better than the way it was when we tried unregulated and unrestricted industry.

There's no simple solution. We really need to reform our regulatory system. I don't know the correct solution, but I can say that regulatory anarchy is definitely one of the worst solutions, not the best.

Atlas Shrugged is a good story and has some very good points. Unfortunately, we don't have John Galt, Dagny Taggart, and Hank Rearden. We have John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J. P. Morgan, Andy Fastow, Bernie Madoff, and similar villains.
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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#24
anyway don,t have worry about anything anymore
according to the Mayan the world going to end next Friday 21 Dec
[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR3O3OncX87XdywIDLsCTy...p-3-jMNueg]

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#25
(12-14-2012, 12:34 PM)PaulaO2 Wrote: They say humans are losing their common sense. I agree but then add that it's not that we are losing it, it's that it is atrophied from lack of use. When coffee cups have to say "contents are hot", we aren't using our common sense to already know this and know not to put a cup between our legs while driving.

While your point is valid in many cases I offer the following counterexample.

It now seems like perfect common sense for us to fasten our seat belts while riding in our vehicles.

Yet for decades vehicles weren't even equipped with seat belts. And even after it was required by legislation it took another couple of decades for further legislation that required people to wear them.
Sleepster
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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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#26
Not really. HOT vs COLD is a basic instinct we should have. Seat belts are not. We have changed our common sense paradigm to include seat belts, yes. But knowing to not put something hot and spillable near our crotch should be more instinctual.

Traveling at 55mph is not a basic thing so a seat belt introduced a safety we would not innately consider. Even then, many people held onto the "the govmint can't tell me what to do!", despite the obvious benefits.
PaulaO2
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Breathe deeply and count to zen.

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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#27
(12-15-2012, 08:56 PM)zonk Wrote: anyway don,t have worry about anything anymore
according to the Mayan the world going to end next Friday 21 Dec
[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR3O3OncX87XdywIDLsCTy...p-3-jMNueg]

"Bob" promised to save us from the monsters of Planet X on July 5, 1998 but I read the usenet feeds of the day from people at various time zones and "Bob" never showed up. And darn it, I have more faith in J.R. "Bob" Dobbs than any ancient civilization. As Pope Janor Hypercleats said, you'll never find a more truthful liar than J.R. "Bob" Dobbs. Words to live by.

The end of the world would be a nice thought though. I'd save money on Christmas presents, or better yet, I wouldn't live long enough to have to pay the bills. Oh well.
Sleep-well
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#28
It seems like every time they "deregulate" something, the end effect is the good guys still can't get anything done because of regulations, but the big guys get new leeway to screw the general public and immunity from the consequences of their actions.

Look how well bank deregulation worked.
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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#29
(12-16-2012, 03:51 PM)archangle Wrote: It seems like every time they "deregulate" something, the end effect is the good guys still can't get anything done because of regulations, but the big guys get new leeway to screw the general public and immunity from the consequences of their actions.

Look how well bank deregulation worked.

Yep, it seems the Washington, D.C. definition of "deregulation" means get rid of the rules that hamper big corporations (or at least the ones who have lobbyists bribing corrupt politicians behind the scenes).

Many times, the "regulators" come from the very industry they are regulating, and after they "serve" in government for a while, return back to the very same industry they were regulating while in government. So, do we really expect them to severely restrict their former and future employers?

Yet another reason the system will eventually crash and burn. Oh-jeez
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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#30
(12-17-2012, 09:23 AM)SuperSleeper Wrote: Yet another reason the system will eventually crash and burn. Oh-jeez

I'm just hoping society doesn't collapse completely before I'm dead. I'm beginning to get worried, though.
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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