I work for a company that sells cpap machines and supplies for treatment of sleep apnea (out of pocket, not through insurance). Around July of 2013, Medicare put in place the new providers with whom they now contract, all the big companies like Apria and Lincare that outbid the small DME providers. Ever since then, more and more often, we are getting call and chats asking how often parts need to be replaced and how much they cost, along with the inevitable question: Do you work with Medicare? I have been having a hard time contacting the provider they assigned to me, and I am looking for a new provider.
I am hearing some real horror stories about how much they are paying for the machines, including monthly rental payments, and how often they are receiving supplies, which does NOT match up with the manufacturers recommendations! 2 days ago, I had one caller ask how often cushions needed to be replaced, because he was suspicious that the provider had sent him enough mask cushions to change them every 2 weeks for 6 months, and wanted him to sign an agreement to pay whatever Medicare doesn’t. (hmmmmm, what’s wrong with this picture?) The manufacturers’ recommendations for cushion replacement is 1 every 3 to 6 months, or when they start to leak too much.
The next call was from an elderly man asking how much a bipap machine costs. I gave him the price for the best model we have, the automatic one, which was $1,868.00. Want to guess how much his Medicare provider, Lincare, wanted to charge? Wait for it…$8,000!!!!! Unbelievable!!!
I will add others’ stories as they come along…
Please share this with anyone you know that uses Medicare, so we can shut down this travesty of wasting our tax money! Please send REDACTED pictures of your bills or any other proof to post along with this information, without any personally identifiable information. I will research and see where actual complaints may be filed and add any links or phone numbers I find to this post.
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