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CPAP therapy: Advanced capabilities complicate challenges

CPAP therapy: Advanced capabilities complicate challenges ‘I am not willing to take on another CPAP unless it includes mobile connectivity’

newspollYARMOUTH, Maine – A majority of sleep physicians and patients have been reluctant to prescribe and use different brands of CPAP devices, despite a recall and supply chain challenges that are limiting access to products, according to a recent HME Newspoll. 

A big reason for that, respondents say: Philips and ResMed, which are the most widely prescribed and used, have the most sophisticated compliance tracking and reporting capabilities. 

“Although many are upset with Philips, they are still used to the product,” wrote Rachel Marie, respiratory manager at Elana Health in South Charleston, West Va. “It has been extremely difficult getting all the doctors on board with other manufacturers due to the web-based capabilities, or lack thereof. The staff must be trained on our side, as well as sleep labs. Many of the doctors want the cards brought to appointments just in case they have no cellular service. We will be relieved when Philips is able to make devices for DMEs again.” 

Sixty-nine percent of respondents reported that, in their experience, sleep physicians are reluctant to prescribe different brands of CPAP devices and 62% of patients are reluctant to use them. 

A number of respondents, however, reported that some physicians and patients have put their preferences aside to prioritize timely therapy. 

“Some feel ‘other’ units are way behind in technology, modem capability and download options, but they understand the bottom line,” wrote one respondent. “They want patients on therapy as soon as equipment allows.” 

Even when physicians and patients are open to different brands of devices, respondents say they’re often still in a bind, as supply chain challenges are impacting production and shipping for all manufacturers. 

“The majority of sleep physicians in our area in Pennsylvania do not care what type of CPAP the patient is set up on – they just want the patient on therapy,” wrote one respondent. “However, we are unable to obtain anything other than ResMed units. We have been told by 3B Medical and Fisher & Paykel that, since we did not order from them in the past, we cannot place orders with them.” 

Indeed, a number of respondents reported wanting to diversify their product portfolio but having difficulty doing so. 

“My biggest mistake was putting all my eggs in one basket; now other companies tune me out,” wrote Andy Scolnick, president at Seventh Street Medical Supply in Feasterville, Pa. “My allocation is less than half the PAP machines I was doing on a monthly basis before the recall and COVID, and they are several months behind on our shipment. I’m approximately 200 patients backlogged, but I am not willing to take on another CPAP unless it includes mobile connectivity.”


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