Insomnia, Snoring, Sleep Apnea

The world and life of a sleep tech

Archive for October, 2009

Orlando was Awash in Pink

Posted by amykr on October 17, 2009

Orlando was Awash in Pink

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Orlando was Awash in Pink

Posted by amykr on October 17, 2009

Orlando was Awash in Pink

Posted using ShareThis

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Orlando was Awash in Pink

Posted by amykr on October 17, 2009

Orlando was Awash in Pink

Posted using ShareThis

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Orlando was Awash in Pink

Posted by amykr on October 17, 2009

Orlando was Awash in Pink

Posted using ShareThis

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

New Equipment for CPAP Users on the Way

Posted by amykr on October 15, 2009

There are many CPAP users out there who do not use their machines. Much of this is due to the fact that this type of therapy is requires a strong desire by the user to stick with the therapy. The good news is new masks, machines and humidifiers are making this type of care more comfortable. Several new pieces of equipment are being introduced in the next couple of months.

A new machine is being introduced by Phillips Respironics. This new CPAP, according to the literature, takes care of many of the issues that users tend to have. It has CFLEX, a therapy mode that allows the breath to be delivered similar to a natural breath rather then a machine. This setting also has an adjustment so that the user can find the flow that is comfortable for their personal breathing pattern.

The equipment is also able to communicate with your doctor and medical equipment company. It has a program that will allow them to monitor the progress of the person using the machine and if they are having any issues they can be corrected in a timely manner instead having to wait for a doctor’s appointment and discussing it with them. All the patient needs to do is make a phone call. The doctor of the equipment company can then access the machine and know if it is being used, if the user is still have issues with snoring, apneas, or with the mask and they can then change the setting to help the person be more comfortable.

The final issue they have looked at is proper humidification without the water collecting in the tube. In the old humidifier the temperature was not controlled at the mask. This new machine looks at humidification at the mask so that excess water does not accumulate in the tubing causing a sloshing sound and accidentally drenching the patient as they move during the night.

New masks come out constantly. Phillips Respironics and Resmed have both come out with changes to the masks they offer. Respironics has two new full face masks. The FullLife mask is a restructuring of typical full face mask to make it more comfortable as well as making it lighter. The most unique thing is that it no longer has a forehead pad but has a headgear with a chin strap to adjust the pressure across the bridge of the nose. The Total Face Mask is a mask that seals around the whole face. This allows patients with unusual shaped faces or patients who can not tolerate nasal or full face masks a new option.

Resmed announced they have added a Softgel interface to their line of masks. This will allow for a comfortable fit for patients who need a little more support to their masks.

For people who have had their machines for 5 years or longer many insurance companies will replace older machines, however they may require you to re-qualify by having another sleep study to prove you still have sleep apnea. Mask, hoses, filters and other equipment are replaced every 3 to 6 months but most people have to call their equipment provider to ask for these to be replaced. If a CPAP user wants a new mask most likely they will have to ask their doctor for a new prescription. Masks generally are not interchangeable. Once you choose a mask you must get a new prescription to change it. The same is true for a humidifier. If a person does not get a heated humidifier when they initially get their machine they must get a prescription and may even need another sleep study in order to get one.

Once you have started on CPAP therapy staying current with the changes in equipment may help in keeping a user compliant with care.

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Senator Olympia Snowe Voted Yes to Health Care Bill

Posted by amykr on October 13, 2009

In the first major move forward in the healthcare bill, Olympia Snowe, R- Maine, crossed party lines and voted yes for the finance committee’s version of healthcare reform. Senator Max Baucus called his plan “a balanced plan.”

The bill would subsidize insurance for poorer Americans, establish nonprofit health care cooperatives and create health insurance exchanges to make it easier for small groups and individuals to buy insurance. It would be paid for by reducing spending on Medicare, taxing higher premium insurnace plans and billing the health insurance companies.
The American Health Insurance Plan trade group stated on Monday if this plan went through premiums would increase as much as $1500 for individuals. Over the long term it could increase as much as $4000 by 2019.

Senator Snowe felt that this is the time to make history by working with the committee to work toward resolving one of the biggest issues affecting us currently.

This is just the one step toward creating a workign health care bill. There are still many issues to work out before a final bill is passed.

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Know-How Saves Your Healthcare Dollars

Posted by amykr on October 8, 2009

As a society we currently are questioning everything we know about healthcare. We wonder if we know who we can trust, where to get the best care for the best price, and what is the best health insurance out there. There is change coming but the truth is that a majority of people have the tools to get the best care for the best price.

Many people have had to take insurances with large deductible due to the high cost of insurance. They are paying anywhere from $250 to $5000 out of pocket before their insurance will start covering expenses. It is important that you know your personal policy and what it pays for. It is also important to know what it excludes. If you do have a question an d you call customer service you should be aware that you should keep the name of the person you talked to and ask them for an account number for the phone call. You should also know that the information they gave you may be incorrect and even if it is incorrect the company is not responsible for the incorrect information. At the end of the call they will always refer you back to your written policy to get the correct information.

If you have a large deductible and you know that you will not be using your insurance then talk to the health care provider about their cash price and what is the best they can do. Many facilities give a good discount for cash patients. If you tell them that you have insurance they will only be able to give you the price the insurance negotiated with the practice. Once you have had the procedure you can submit your bill to the insurance company and they can apply it to your deductible.

If you have an HMO or a Health Maintenance Organization plan make sure that any procedure you have is covered and that if it needs a prior authorization that you have arranged to get one from your primary care doctor. Even if a specialist orders the procedure it is your primary care doctor who has to issue an authorization. If the test is done without an authorization they can bill you for the procedure at the price the insurance company would have paid.

It is important to shop around. Different companies have different contracts with insurance companies. An example of this would be a sleep lab. A hospital based lab will tend to be more expensive then an independent testing facility. But you want to maker sure the lab you are going to has been accredited. This will let you know that the lab met certain minimum criteria.

Remember you are the person who has control of your money. Your decision should always be based on honesty. You can always call and ask question of a provider before making a decision to schedule an appointment.

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