Skip to Content

It’s been a year

It’s been a year

It’s always around this time of year – it’s early October as I write this – that I start itching to find out what have been the most read stories of the year on the HME News website. 

For normal people, fall signifies all things pumpkin – pumpkin bread, yes; Pumpkinhead beer, no, if you’re asking – but not for me. 

What have you all been reading? When the year is three-quarters through, that’s what I want to know. 

Before I even logged into Google Analytics to find out, I knew the Philips recall would be in the mix. Not since the Invacare consent decree have we reported on a bigger story involving a manufacturer, and Theresa and I have been kicking the tires in the HME industry for longer than we’d like to admit, so that’s saying something.  

I suspected that not even other major challenges in 2021, like the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain constraints and the resulting increased product costs and delays, would eclipse the impact of the recall, which reportedly spans millions of CPAP devices and ventilators. 

And I was right. 

The 10 most read stories of the year as of Oct. 6 are: 

Makers of CPAP cleaners distance themselves from recall 

Philips gets in front of possible safety issue 

Philips issues recall 

AdaptHealth’s McGee placed on leave 

CMS proposes major changes to oxygen benefit 

Providers assess Philips recall  

Philips begins remediation 

AdaptHealth continues brisk pace of acquisitions 

Apria jumps into hot market 

It’s a perfect storm: Manufacturers prioritize, allocate orders for CPAP devices 

I’d like to note, in particular, No. 10 – Manufacturers prioritize, allocate orders for CPAP devices – a story in which the Philips recall and supply chain constraints collide in the most unpleasant way for everyone involved. Manufacturers – not just Philips – are having a hard time finding components to make enough devices to meet demand. Providers can’t buy enough devices to respond to the recall in the way they’d like to. And patients are faced, in some cases, with using a recalled device or no device at all for a period of time. 

The timing couldn’t be worse. 

Efforts to raise awareness of sleep apnea and the importance of CPAP therapy are at arguably an all-time high. The Centers for Disease Control, for example, recently awarded a three-year grant to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine to increase outreach efforts to the millions of Americans who don’t know they have obstructive sleep apnea. The AASM will receive almost $350,000 in the first year.  

Also at an all-time high are efforts to leverage technology to more easily diagnose those millions of Americans. ResMed, for example, recently announced that it has acquired Ectosense, a company that makes a small – some would say tiny – home sleep testing device called NightOwl, to increase OSA diagnoses. 

Access to CPAP devices is of paramount importance right now. 

So, all of this is to say, 2021 has been the worst of times for sleep therapy – recall, pandemic / supply chain constraints – and it has been the best of times – increased awareness of OSA, expanded use of technology for HST. 

2022 has got to have less of the former and more of the latter, right? 


To comment on this post, please log in to your account or set up an account now.