CARROLLTON, TX – Is it better to rent or buy a CPAP? Sometimes it depends on the type of insurance. A lengthy article from ProPublica and NPR investigated the rent/buy question, in addition to the notion that CPAP manufacturers were somehow “spying” on patients through tracking of compliance data.
For clinicians and advocates who want patients to have a full range of options, the NPR article notably (and regrettably) does not mention oral appliances. Instead, author Marshall Allen describes a litany of concerns about CPAP machines that report usage data to insurers, as well as masks that “take some getting used to.”
“As many CPAP users discover, the life-altering device comes with caveats,” writes Allen in an article published at NPR.org. “Health insurance companies are often tracking whether patients use them. If they aren’t, the insurers might not cover the machines or the supplies that go with them. And, faced with the popularity of CPAPs—which can cost $400 to $800—and their need for replacement filters, face masks and hoses, health insurers have deployed a host of tactics that can make the therapy more expensive or even price it out of reach.”
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