I knew it was a bit of a stretch when we posted a brief to our website recently about a furniture maker named Perdue Woodworks debuting a line of nightstands designed to conceal CPAP devices. I mean, we’re not in the business of writing news about furniture makers.
But it was just one of those things that I couldn’t resist. It got me to thinking about the day-to-day realities of having obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and how those realities can, ultimately, impact compliance and the ability of HME providers to continue getting paid.
It turns out I’m not the only one that was interested in this news. The brief got 200 views on our website and a couple of favorites on twitter.
So, naturally, I started digging for more info.
I wasn’t able to reach anyone at Perdue Woodworks, but a Google search on “CPAP nightstands” led me to D.L. Allen Cabinetmaker. I was able to reach the owner of that company, Denny Allen, in Mount Vernon, Ohio.
As you might suspect, Allen, a woodworker and shop teacher by trade, started making nightstands for CPAP devices four years ago when he began using the therapy himself. The nightstand you see on the main page of his website, www.dennyallencabinets.com, is his—a custom-made job in walnut. It features a drawer that pulls out from the side, toward the bed, for easy access; and an opening in the back for the tubing.
Of course, I had to ask Allen whether or not he’s visited local HME providers to let them know about his product.
“When I first started, I had cards printed out and took them to all the providers in central Ohio,” he said. “I don’t know that I’ve gotten one order from that.”
In all, Allen has made and sold only a handful of nightstands for CPAP devices to date.
This surprises me. Yes, Allen’s nightstands are on the expensive side at $300 and up (Perdue is marketing theirs for $150 to $200), but they’re handmade using wood not MDF, and they look like something you’d pass down from generation to generation (Is OSA hereditary?). I can’t help but think these nightstands would make the perfect addition to the room-like displays so many HME providers are setting up in their showrooms. It’s a visual that I think would take some of the stress out of what can be a stressful therapy for patients.
“A lot of the trouble with CPAP is the inconvenience of it,” Allen said. “What I do takes that away. You pull out the drawer and everything’s there, and the drawer stays shut unless you’re getting in and out of it.
“The hard thing is finding a mask that’s not so annoying it keeps you awake,” he said. “But that’s the business of the people who make the masks; I just make the nightstands.”