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VA assistance with CPAP care
#1
I'm new to the CPAP Community and to this website. My primary care doc, after looking at my overnight, in home, oximetry study, said I clearly suffer from obstructive sleep apnea and need mechanical assistance. I then had an overnight study in a local clinic. Results of that have not yet been received but I'm trying to be proactive.

I use the VA for my hearing aid needs and have found them to be responsive and very helpful. I have good insurance, along with Medicare, and was thinking I'd probably just go to a local provider for the necessary CPAP equipment once I get official clearance and a prescription. However, in reviewing the many posts on this website it appears that maintaining an effective piece of CPAP equipment and the necessary peripherals can get rather cumbersome... and probably expensive. For that reason I think I may ask my primary care doc to request a consult with the VA CPAP clinic.

I realize each VA hospital is likely quite different. So far I've found my Asheville, NC VA hospital to be pretty wonderful. I assume their CPAP program would be as well. I'm reaching out to see how others have found their VA experience with regards to CPAP, both the basic machine and all peripherals. Your experiences will help me in deciding whether to go VA or seek private care. Your opinions will be valued.

Many thanks,
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#2
Make sure you get the machine you want and not got fogged off with what they want to give you.
Get a good make of APAP and not a CPAP machine.  Unless it turns out you need a more complex machine.
An APAP will work in CPAP mode as well, so it is the best of both worlds and an APAP will respond to your needs.

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#3
va uses top of the line machines, you can get any mask you want (replaced every 3 mos).
i have a resmed a10 auto, my prescription reads all supplies needed (at no cost). they have been great when i switch masks send me 2 so i have a backup. just contact your local clinic, u do not need a referral from your local doctor as they will contact him fot any needed info. they might want to do their own sleep study.
Resmed autoset 10-Care thru VA 
F20 Airtouch-Dreamwear FFM  My Air and Sleepyhead
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#4
On VA care: I depends on what kind of service a particular facility provides. My husband went that route, even though our Medicare and Tricare4Life pay the whole thing. He had a home sleep test and his machine and mask came a few weeks later in the mail. Hard to get an appointment. Luckily he had zero problems with his CPAP use--put the mask on, went to sleep and slept the whole night. Sure was quiet--his AHI was 77 untreated. He has appointment every so often in our local VA clinic--results go to the sleep doctor in a bigger VA facility. I get much better personal care with a small family owned DE and my sleep doctor.
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#5
I know everyone's insurance is different... and hard to understand. I have good insurance with Medicare as primary and federal retiree as secondary. Do you incur expenses beyond your deductible when going the private route? Thank you.
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#6
Additional thoughts as I continue on the fence here:

!. What is a DE? You say you get much better care than your husband's VA care through a family owned DE.
2. Can you be more specific about your "better care" versus that of your husband's with the VA?
3. This question may stretch your knowledge level. I wonder if i started my program is a private setting if i could later switch to VA? I'm guessing that would be possible.

Many thanks again!
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#7
I find the level of care given by the VA to be top notch. My sleep doc is totally responsive to my needs and even recommends changes and upgrades. Supplies are just a phone call away. And they only check compliance once a year. No complaints what so ever.
Mike
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#8
Thanks Mike. Very helpful and much appreciated.
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