Inside of most continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines is software that tracks the hours that you use the device. Some insurance companies require patients to submit this data periodically to demonstrate a continued need for CPAP, called compliance tracking. Medicaid and Medicare regulations require patients to submit this information in order to evaluate whether or not you continue to benefit from it. Other PAP devices are also subject to compliance tracking. These regulations bring a whole new meaning to the phrase “use it or lose it” for people suffering from sleep apnea.
CPAP Internal Measuring Software
Not all CPAP machines are created equal. Some contain more hi-tech tracking technology than others. The most basic software monitors the time that the machine is turned on. Other CPAP machines will also monitor things like air pressure. When you wear your mask, the machine records a certain amount of pressure that differs from when the mask is not on. That data may be used to find high leak rates in your mask if it needs adjustment or replacing.
Medicare and Medicaid CPAP Compliance
After you receive your CPAP, compliance tracking regulations require a re-evaluation for continuing coverage from Medicare and Medicaid. The re-evaluation must take place 31-91 days after you receive your CPAP. For you, the re-evaluation should be relatively easy. You will need to bring your CPAP to the sleep dentist or sleep doctor that you see regularly. Using the internal software, they will be able to report how many hours the device was used for. If you do not regularly use the CPAP, your insurance may stop covering it.
Compliance tracking is intended to help streamline the distribution of CPAP equipment. Previously, many patients received unnecessary equipment without requesting it. Some even reported being sent ten extra CPAP masks over a period of time when they only needed one backup. Monitoring software inside of the CPAP machine may show when your mask has a leak so that it can be replaced as needed.
Protecting Your Health
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can put your life in danger. This condition has been linked to diabetes, depression, and heart failure. Additionally, daytime sleepiness may decrease your work performance and increases your risk of being involved in a car accident. CPAP is designed to sustain a continuous airflow for you all night in order to restore your sleep. Not using it may endanger your health.
If you find that you do not use your CPAP often, you may benefit from CPAP alternatives. Depending on your symptoms, a custom sleep apnea appliance may help you manage your breathing at night. Dr. Lowrance will use a k7 system to assess your jaw and create an oral appliance that will open your airways as you sleep.
To learn more about treating your sleep apnea, please contact Dr. Lowrance’s office at (361) 851-8274 for a consultation.