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This area is for CPAP Mask and CPAP Machine Related Questions used in the treatment of Sleep Apnea.


Postby xanadu » Wed May 24, 2006 1:33 pm

My insurance (HMO) provider uses APRIA for sleep equipment. I have had an awful time with APRIA. They supplied used equipment, the wrong devices, replaced the used humidifier twice before supplying the right model! I finally had to file a corporate complaint with their main office and then was overbilled! Yesterday, after over a month of harranging, things may have been straightened out. A word of advice - if you can avoid this company, do it!
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Postby droopy eyes » Wed May 24, 2006 10:24 pm

Tell me about it!!!!!!!!!!!! That's the company that my insurance company hooked me up with and my first experience with them was to only get a replacement mask, I knew exactly what i wanted, took a picture with me (to their place because they couldn't get anybody to my house). Then the person they had "waiting" on me had to keep going in the back to get answers to my questions (why not send out the person that knows the answers?). Then last month I called them because I wanted my machine checked out/serviced because it didn't seem to be "doing the job" and after all it is at least 4 1/2 years old and never checked since I've had it (and I believe it was sold to me used, so who knows how old it actually is). The brilliant "lady" that answered the phone told me that if it turned on and didn't make loud noises that it was working fine "because those things are pretty durable" and you have to have a prescription to get a new machine anyway---like I don't know that already (and yes I told her before her brainstorm that I had been diagnosed and got this machine 5 years ago). I mean dang I have no problem having a sleep study if I need one but lets start with the easy/cheap first and work our way up here I mean if it's the machine fix it or sell me a new one if it isn't then let me have a study, it's like having a knock/ping in your engine and replacing the engine before checking to see if the oil is low. ARGGHHH
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Postby BARBCCRN » Thu May 25, 2006 8:06 pm

I am in the process of changing my DME. I asked advice of the CEO of sleep lab who is helping me start a A.W.A.K.E. group. There are about 25 DMEs here in Vegas and his only suggestion to me was "Stay away from Apria" That is very sad since they are a national company and their reputation is less than stellar
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Postby pratzert » Tue May 30, 2006 10:06 am

BARBCCRN wrote:I am in the process of changing my DME. I asked advice of the CEO of sleep lab who is helping me start a A.W.A.K.E. group. There are about 25 DMEs here in Vegas and his only suggestion to me was "Stay away from Apria" That is very sad since they are a national company and their reputation is less than stellar

"Less than stellar" is an understatement ! I have CIGNA and they also have a National contract with Apria.

Bottom line.... I ended up just buying the machine out of my own pocket rather than try to deal with Apria any longer.

When my sleep doc learned that I had CIGNA and they used Apria, he rolled his eyes and let out a moan... saying the they were absolutely the worse DME provider his office had ever dealt with. I quickly learned that he was correct.

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Postby Vicki » Tue May 30, 2006 11:54 am

I just can't resist. Here is the letter I sent to my company's patient liason and to Apria when they sent me a customer satisfaction survey. Enjoy!!!:

Aetna Insurance Co. February 8, 2006
XXXXX, Plan Sponsor Liaison
Allentown Service Center


I received the list of DMEs, thank you very much! Here are the specifics about the inability to receive medical supplies from Apria needed after my foot reconstruction and my inability to maintain treatment of my severe obstructive sleep apnea because of Apria's failure to supply me with a CPAP mask.

On September 16, 2005, I had my left foot reconstructed. A couple of weeks before my surgery, I called Aetna to inquire about the DME I should use to order the medical supplies I would require after surgery. I called Apria and ordered crutches, a riser for the toilet set, a shower chair, a shower stool and a reacher. I had not received my supplies by the day of my surgery and still had not received them when I came home five days later on Tuesday, September 20, 2005. I called Apria on that day to inquire about the status of my order and was told they did not have a record of my order even being placed. I went to a local DME supplier and purchased my equipment.

I have severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and am under the care of a sleep disorders specialist. My treatment for my OSA is CPAP therapy. Anytime I sleep, whether it is at night or for naps, I must use my CPAP. Three weeks ago, on approximately January 18th, my mask broke and I called Apria the same day to order a new Fisher & Paykel Flexi-fit 431 full faced mask. The call day was either a Tuesday or Wednesday. I asked to have the mask shipped as soon as possible and was told it could be delivered by the Friday of that week. I did not receive the mask on Friday nor the following Monday. When I placed a call to Apria on Tuesday of the following week, I was told that it had been shipped. I finally received the mask at the end of the week. Much to my dismay, I was sent a Fisher & Paykel nasal mask, which I cannot use.

I once again called Apria, informed them of their error and requested that the proper mask be sent overnight. I finally received the second mask on Tuesday, February 7th and it was the same, incorrect mask I had received previously. When I am untreated, it puts my health at risk. I have extreme fatigue, headaches and increased blood pressure and it causes severe disruptions in my work and personal lives.

Today I ordered my mask online, out of network, and will be receiving it tomorrow. Incompetent care is inexcusable. My previous DME for my OSA would consistently ship needed equipment to me by the next day and they recognized the importance of proper treatment for patients.

I am on the national board of the American Sleep Apnea Association and I help moderate their forum. Inadequate care from Apria has been posted before and I will certainly make sure my experience is posted as well.

Vicki J. Thon
Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.
Marilyn Vos Savant

That which does not kill you makes you stronger-Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich must of had apnea.
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Machine: DeVilbiss IntelliPAP
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Humidifier: Rarely as needed
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Postby Napster(the former) » Tue May 30, 2006 3:41 pm

I've posted this tale before, but here it is again. My original DME was Sleep Central--no problems. I was on travel and lost my short hose with the elbow and swivel for my Swift Mirage mask. I got home on Friday, and I called Sleep Central who informed me that my DME was changed to Apria.

I called Apria to be informed their business hours were 8-5 EDT Monday thru Friday, I called at 4:25 p.m. A weekend without my cpap. I did all right Saturday and Sunday, but the zombies came back Monday, and boy was I in a mood when I called them at 8:00 a.m. They finally answered their phone about 8:30.

I asked for what I wanted by the part number from their website, and was told I had to have an Rx from my sleep doc. That was easier to get than to to argue, and one was faxed. I asked for expedited shipping and handling, I was willing to pay for the whole deal, and $11.25 part for crying-out-loud, WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL. I was given the answer that the part would be shipped in 2-4 days with 2 day delivery. By which time I would already be travelling again. Sorry, "we have a policy to handle all orders in this manner," I was told by a reputed supervisor.

I googled "cpap,"and cpap.com was the first site on the list. Called the 800 number about 10:00 a.m. Monday morning, the same morning, and it was delivered to my desk before lunch Tuesday for less than $20.00.

I went on travel the next week, no product from Apria. Came home Thursday evening, no product from Apria. Got it Friday. Guess what, no elbow on the assembley. Apria's answer, they all come with elbows--you must be mistaken.

The people in my organization that do health care, etc., as well as my CEO, have agreed to require that our next insurance contract either exclude APRIA or require options with other DMEs.

And I though I had such a simple problem.
Check your smoke detectors and make sure the batteries are fresh.
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Postby BARBCCRN » Wed May 31, 2006 12:10 pm

Pratzert-I also have Cigna-but there are many DMEs here in Las Vegas so I was assigned to a different DME(which I hate). I called 2 other local companies and they both accept Cigna so I will be changing. See if there are any other companies in your area which accept Cigna
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Postby pratzert » Wed May 31, 2006 1:17 pm

BARBCCRN wrote:Pratzert-I also have Cigna-but there are many DMEs here in Las Vegas so I was assigned to a different DME(which I hate). I called 2 other local companies and they both accept Cigna so I will be changing. See if there are any other companies in your area which accept Cigna

I had another 10 or so DME providers that DID accept CIGNA.... but none of them carried CPAP machines, nor were they willing to order CPAP machines. Kind of strange I thought..... to pass up the opportunity.
So I was stuck with Apria or self-pay....

I chose the lesser of two bad choices.... self-pay..... That gives you an idea of how bad Apria was for me !

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Postby gram2trips » Thu Jun 01, 2006 7:36 pm

I am in the minority here I see. Apria owns the DME dept of the insurance I have so I have no choice as to where I can deal. My husband has been on O2 for a couple of years & I have just gotten my CPap last week. So far no complaints. They come out when we call & we have gotten supplies when requested. BTW I live in Pittsburgh, PA.
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Postby morcheller » Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:05 pm

I have been saddled with Apria for a couple of years now and have little good to say about them! The only exception was a single technician who was very apologetic about the treatment he is forced to give Apria's patients.
I can, but won't, go on for hours about promise broken, equipment not sent when requested, incorrect equipment sent, etc. ad nauseum!
I have written my insurance supplier but have received no response from them. Must be a very profitable relationship!
I think the worst part of it is that my first experiences were with a company that did care, did give good customer support and did treat their clients like human beings. I truly miss them.
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apria and masks

Postby judyb » Fri Jun 02, 2006 3:53 pm

I hate to sound cynical, but do the suppliers, such as Apria, get a kickback from the various companies? It seems to me that they push certain products and are very negative about others. The Nasal Aire II was prescribed for me but when I went in to pick it up they convinced me to get another which I wore for less than a week. I bought a NA II out of my own pocket because I really did want to be CPAP compliant. My 6 months is up, they called and we were talking about masks, and they again said NA II was awful and are pushing the Adam Circuit. The guy seemed to get insulted when I mentioned the Breeze and asked what I had against the Adam -- nothing, I just knew nothing about it.

I was reading something else and the comment was made about how much Apria disliked the NAII. Curious to me.
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Postby pratzert » Fri Jun 02, 2006 5:08 pm

They very well may be getting a kick-back of some sort considering how hard they push some products and bad-mouth others. Especially when the patient knows very specifically what to ask for.

If not a kick-back... then for sure.... they make a larger profit off of some items rather than others.

The "Cost" for the items might vary, but the reimbursement from the insurance company to Apria is the same regardless of the actual "cost" . So Apria would rather make you take a mask that is a piece of garbage that costs them $50.00 instead of another good quality mask that costs them $55.00. They would get reimbursed maybe $80.00 regardless of which mask they provide to you. So guess who gets screwed! Y O U !!!

In my opinion, in Apria's case... it's purely Money before Patient care.
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Postby Geri Bryan » Tue Jul 25, 2006 10:27 pm

Well, after reading these posts, I see why I am having problems. I had to hound Apria to send me my machine (I also have Cigna). I had an idea I would be having problems when the respiratory lady told me I had Cigna and had to use Apria, she sort of clued me in. So I started immediately calling them every couple of hours until it arrived a week later. Then it arrived without a mask, which they had no intention of supplying. Fortunately, I had the next day off to spend all day persuing a mask from them. I don't like the mask they gave me, it was the only one they had, by the way. I've had a headache all day today, a frequent occurance. I'm sure it's due to the fact that the mask leaks during my sleep and I'm not aware of it.
I don't know what to do. I am a first time user, stuck with Apria and this lousy mask. The machine seems to work ok. But I don't know how to get a new mask. Who do you call.? I am willing to get whatever works well, and pay out of pocket for it. I want to call and talk to someone who can help me order the right mask for me. I'd like to have it in my hands right away if I can just go buy it somewhere. I live in the East Dallas area.
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Postby another_guest » Tue Jul 25, 2006 10:58 pm

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My experience with Apria

Postby afar1 » Sat Mar 24, 2007 10:29 am

My Experience:

18 March 2007

After being diagnosed with sleep apnea some time ago my sleep study people advised a procedure called Continuous positive airway pressure (cpap for short). Initially after having trouble with my first cpap mask I was advised to switch headgear and masks and they recommended a new model that was supposedly much more tolerable than the old model.

So far so good.

The nature of durable medical equipment constitutes a new headgear and mask at every three month interval. For the past 6 orders (18 months) I have consistently been sent the incorrect mask on each subsequent reorder which turns out to be the original older model that I had originally oredered but have sine changed. When I called to plead with them to please take the old mask out of their computer to avoid any further shipping errors each time they agreed but the old incorrect mask kept coming. Yesterday I had a conversation with a lady named Rochelle and here is the exact transcript from the call.

Apria: Hello my name is Rochelle how may I help you today?

Me: Hello may I begin with your employee ID please?

Rochelle: silence permeates the receiver

Me: Hello?

Rochelle: How may I help you?

Me: Yes may I please have your employee ID please?

Rochelle: I'm not going to give that to you it's private.

Me: Alright then Rochelle let me have your supervisor please?

Rochelle: And what is this regarding

Me: I'll explain that to your supervisor

Rochelle: Hold on

60 seconds goes by

Rochelle: Hello my supervisor would like to know what this is regarding?

Me: Put her on and I will explain it to her

30 seconds elapses.

Rochelle: My supervisor is not at her desk can I take a message?

Me: No thank you I will contact the corporate office.

Rochelle: Fine I could care less

Me: That's obvious

Call disconnects

So there you have it folks another prime example of stellar customer service from a company too long on business and too short on empathy.

Oh 7 days and no replacement mask.
See this website at www.accountraid.com for problems with apria and followups.
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