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Trouble getting BIPAP machine

My mother is in end stage COPD and has been told that the only way for her to obtain and be set up properly for a BIPAP is to complete an out of home sleep study. She missed an appointment for this due to being in the hospital and her next one is not scheduled for another 6 weeks. She struggles with CO2 retention and is currently on 4L at home.

Has anybody had experience buying a machine on their own and getting it set up? Any other advice for me?

Thank you!!

  1. Like Abbey, I get home services from Medicare, though I also have supplemental insurance. I have home healthcare, and also VPA (Visiting Physicians Association), so I get any therapies, nurses, and even doctor visits, at home. The (CPAP - type) ventilator is what my doctor and respiratory therapist say I need for sleeping, for the C02 issue. They filed an application with Medicare for me (it's their job!) for approval for it. I had to take a lung function test, and easily qualified there, but now I also have to do a sleep study, and it is being set up for me to do it at home (there is no such requirement that it be done "out of home"😉, including supervision and assistance at home, so the same service should be available to you. I'd ask, and like Abbey said, be pushy. You have a right to the care and it is their job to provide it. My people take excellent care of me, and yours should too. If they don't, then maybe a change is in order. I do NOT tolerate poor care. I worked hard all my life and paid for all this, all the while being the best at what I did for a living. I expect no less from them. Good luck on this and keep us posted.

    1. Thanks to you both! She is currently in subacute rehab since last hospital stay, doctor wrote a script for the bipap to use there…so I will now talk to them about being able to use that script to obtain our own machine through med supply, using settings they’ve provided…getting closer to a solution!! Both of your feedback has been so helpful and very appreciated!

      1. Hi again, Andrea, and thanks for your response and further explanation. Your feedback means so much to us as well. I will wish you 'good luck!' as you move forward towards this successful solution for your mother.
        Please do check back and keep us apprised of your progress.
        If there is anything we can do to assist you further, please let me or any other moderator / team member know.
        Leon (site moderator

    2. Andrea, first of all, I want to thank you for helping your mother. I am a COPD patient, end stage, and my son somehow finds time to handle my care. I get so irritated trying to talk on the phone and breathe as well, I get frustrated which then causes me to mouth breathe, and being on supplemental oxygen, I don't get any oxygen -- downhill from there!

      I question where you live because a lot of this "stuff" was handled by my pulmonologist's office. Do you have a pulmonologist? I too had CO2 poisoning a few times a couple years ago and I couldn't go home without the BiPAP or I'd end up back in the hospital within a few days with off the charts CO2. My doctor used the default settings temporarily (and in all honesty, I don't think it was far off) so I could go home.

      I also had the sleep study done in my home. So unless you live in a sparsely populated area, why aren't these things being offered to you? The hospital had a discharge planner who set up a home health care management company that gives me nursing care, and other assistance.

      Be nice, but pushy!


      1. Hi abbey, and thanks for lending your own support and encouragement here. We also appreciate you sharing your personal experience managing this condition with the community, specifically . This is a very kind and compassionate gesture on your behalf.
        This is a big part of what we believe our community is all about!
        Warm regards,
        Leon (site moderator

    3. Hi Andrea, and thanks for your post. This is quite the challenging set of circumstances for you and your mother. I am a little surprised the sleep center wasn't more understanding about the missed (sleep study) appointment. Clearly, if mom was hospitalized at the time, she could not keep the appointment! In my experience (being responsible for a 4-bedded hospital based sleep center), the ability is always there to reschedule a patient without having an extensive wait - especially when the medical necessity is there, as it seems to be in your mother's case.
      You should be aware that some sleep centers are able to provide this service in one's home but, that is not as common as we'd like at this point. Does your center have the capability to do this?
      As for your concern about obtaining the BiPAP machine on your own - that may not be a good idea. It's always best to use the BiPAP machine on the prescription and orders of a physician. Is mom's doctor able to support this plan?
      What do you think?
      Leon (site moderator

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