N.D. Providers, AAHomecare Tackling Dodgy Online CPAP Sales

CPAPs are being sold via Walmart.com to North Dakota consumers contrary to Federal and state laws, as well as North Dakota’s licensing requirements.

A simple patient inquiry led to a HME providers in North Dakota and the American Association for Homecare discovering a problem with CPAP devices being sold by third-party sellers online.

According to a statement from the American Association for Homecare, the issue first arose when a patient contacted Sanford Health HealthCare Accessories for guidance on regulating the settings on a CPAP device the individual had recently purchased from a third-party seller on Walmart.com without confirming a prescription. 

Barb Stockert, who handled government relations for Sanford at the time the issue was discovered, checked and found the devices directly available on Walmart.com without the need for a prescription, according to AAHomecare.

Both Federal law and North Dakota law require CPAP devices to be sold with a prescription. Also, North Dakota law requires a licensed DME retailer to directly provide CPAPs to consumers, and the devices must be set up by a clinically trained professional.

Stockert then contacted the North Dakota Board of Pharmacy, which has opened an investigation into the matter and also notified AAHomecare, which has sent a letter to Walmart about the issue, noting the Federal and North Dakota laws and licensure requirements regarding CPAP devices.

“AAHomecare and the HME community are committed to making sure that HME is only provided in accordance with Federal and state laws and regulations and that patients and caregivers can be assured that these essential products are backed up with the clinical knowledge, experience, and care that is a hallmark of this industry,” a statement from AAHomecare read.

In its statement, AAHomecare stated it would follow up when we receive a response from Walmart. As of press time, several CPAP machines are for sale on Walmart.com without prescription requirements noted. 

About the Author

David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.

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