Auld lang syne, CPAP issues? Not so fast

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12/31/2009

At this time of year we editors like to cull top 10 lists. On this last day of 2009 I perused our stats to see what the top story was for specialty providers. No surprise: it was a CPAP story: Providers request CPAP do-over, which first appeared back in March.

In fact, CPAP documentation requirements, which went into effect in November of 2008, were an ongoing saga this year, with providers trying to educate both physicians and patients with varying degrees of success.

This fall, providers in the first 10 MSAs then had the added joy of crafting bids that factored in the additional expenses associated with providing CPAP to Medicare beneficiaries, all the while knowing that CMS will only look at manufacturer's invoices as an indicator of cost.

But, in recent weeks, as I've talked to CPAP providers, it sounds like they are hanging in there and, in many cases, enjoying patient compliance rates of 90% or more. Still I have a feeling that as the 2010 progresses, issues will continue to challenge and vex providers.

Stay tuned for 2010 and Happy New Year!

Theresa Flaherty