CPAP: Patient forum aids providers
HOUSTON – Providers seeking to improve CPAP patient compliance rates have found an unlikely resource: patient product ratings posted on CPAPtalk.com, a patient forum run by online provider CPAP.com.
Patients won’t use their equipment if they don’t like it, says General Manager Johnny Goodman.
“The natural patient preference is toward products that work best,” he said.
Medicare guidelines for CPAP that went into effect in November 2008 require providers to show ongoing patient compliance in order to be paid.
“It is now virtually impossible to make a profit on a Medicare CPAP patient unless the patient is compliant,” said Goodman. “Providers who fail to fit Medicare patients with anything less than the best products risk non-compliance and therefore, reduced profitability.”
The challenges started in 2007. CPAPtalk.com or a CPAP manufacturer selects a product and challenges a product within the same category. Patient testers rate selected product s via a survey and assign it a star rating.
Having real-life CPAP users rate products offers an unbiased source of product information, said Goodman.
“Patients speak their mind and are encumbered by a need to make numbers or maintain employment,” he said. “They just want the most comfortable treatment.”
Providers can get challenge results via the Web site, or sign up for newsletters or e-mail notification.
“When providers have worked with certain equipment for a long time, they get patient feedback,” said Carolyn Goodman, marketing manager. “That takes a while. This is a way to jump up that learning curve.”