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Technology propels increased access to CPAP therapy 

Technology propels increased access to CPAP therapy 

YARMOUTH, Maine – The COVID-19 pandemic delivered a significant blow to their businesses in 2020, but CPAP providers say referrals are back to nearly pre-pandemic levels and, thanks to technology, they’re in a better position now than they’ve ever been. 

The relaxation of certain requirements during the public health emergency, for example, has made it easier for patients to access care through telehealth and other remote technologies, says Jay Levitt, founder of San Diego-based Lofta, an online provider of home sleep tests and CPAP devices and supplies. 

“We are finding that it’s creating greater accessibility for people in rural areas and other patients that have accessibility issues,” he said. “We are learning it is more economical and reaches more people.”  

Embracing virtual CPAP setups during the pandemic allowed Detroit, Mich.-based Sleep Solutions to grow its territory, says President Robyn Parrott. 

“It’s increased our footprint so we can market further than we normally would,” she said. “For the most part, it’s been easy. Some of the elderly might have a bit of an issue, but we have been able to work through bugs with different platforms. It’s a matter of educating them.” 

The pandemic has also boosted the use of home sleep testing, a transition that has slowly allowed referrals to rebound. Eric Parkhill, who sold his DME three years ago to focus on sleep diagnostics, says business at Athens, Ga.-based HMP Diagnostics has doubled in the last 12 to 18 months. 

“Once COVID started, we did see a big uptick,” he said. “Everybody I talk to is doing more and more home sleep testing due to the pandemic. It does give a lot of people access to the testing.” 

Still, while providers are optimistic about their business prospects in 2021, they aren’t taking anything for granted.  

“It’s been challenging,” said Parrott. “I watch everything. I watch spending. I’m keeping my finger on things and watching.” 


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