Difference between revisions of "Sleeprider Rant"

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==Why Consumers Take What They Get==
==Why Consumers Take What They Get==

Latest revision as of 18:47, 21 May 2020


Why Consumers Take What They Get

The end users of CPAP equipment with a few exceptions like the members of this forum, are completely in the dark about what differentiates the brands and models of positive air pressure machines. Philips hides all of this information from the end consumer or patient to a much greater degree than Resmed who also directs most useful technical information to medical providers. That's why it is so much more work to figure out how things like "Flex" or the auto CPAP algorithm work, while we can see how EPR and the Autoset algorithm responds. Almost of greater concern is the flood of cheap Resmart and BMC machines from China that are being pushed into U.S. and international markets. These devices are short on features, high on noise and provide little or no useful data.

All marketing and promotions from Philips are directed to their authorized distribution network of DMEs, Online sellers, sleep clinics, insurance companies and physicians. There have been particular incentives to be an "exclusive distributor" which means competing brands are not even available. The promotions all tout the technical superiority of the products and how they help to serve patients while making the suppliers and doctors jobs easier and increasing profit margins. Philips is very active in providing incentives, training, and has provided many sleep clinics with free test machines so that titrations are based on the Philips lineup and proprietary terms like "BiPAP". All of this is perfectly acceptable because among the entire sleep distribution chain and sleep medicine, the differences between brands of machines is perceived as negligible, and the lowest price and biggest profit return becomes the controlling interest. We are actually fortunate we are not overwhelmed by the numerous new Chinese CPAP entries that can be purchased very cheaply, because insurance will reimburse suppliers for those machines at the same rate as Philips or Resmed.

If an incentive exists for prescribing or dispensing a particular brand, and it actually costs less, than a competing brand, what do you think happens when end-users have absolutely no knowledge to make a choice? Very few people actually have a clue what they are getting when they are dispensed a machine, and as a result the end-user is left out of the promotions and usually not aware of, or given a choice. Recently Philips and Resmed have done some direct marketing to consumers, mainly for travel machines where a choice is actually involved. None of this will change until enough people take the time to educate themselves on the choices and self-advocate for the best choice. That is what we do here, and our membership is a tiny speck in the PAP marketplace, or if you prefer, a fly in the ointment of the CPAP Medical Mafia.

The bright spot is when people that need these devices do their own research and make an informed choice. Several forums already provide independent information, reviews and guidance. There are a number of reviews that can be found on YouTube and other online social sites. Until consumers become more involved in making informed choices, the manufacturers, suppliers and medical professionals will continue to bypass them, and make decisions for them.