Survey Says: Mask Replacement Low for CPAP Users

ResMed Corp. released the results of a recent survey of sleep apnea patients that found patients are not replacing their masks as often as recommended under CMS guidelines.

The blind survey, conducted during May 2006 by, found that only 30 percent of respondents had replaced their masks in the past nine months. About 54 percent had not replaced their mask in the past 10 months, and 48 percent had never replaced their mask. Significantly, about 30 percent of respondents said they use more than one mask.

"We were surprised to find that even patients who actively seek CPAP information online don't realize that many insurance providers will cover replacement masks and accessory parts as often as every three to six months," said Michael Farrell, vice president of marketing, ResMed, San Diego. "This survey suggests a tremendous need for patient education, as well as a significant business opportunity for home medical equipment HME providers. Many HME providers recognize the benefits of providing a high level of patient education and service, which drives trailing revenues through mask replacement and multiple mask usage. We hope this survey serves as another reason for providers to grow their businesses by delivering regular follow-up care."

In addition to the low mask replacement, the majority of patients said that they are not in frequent contact with their equipment provider. Research shows that patient education and follow-up play a critical role in ensuring patient compliance.

As a solution to these issues, ResMed encourages HME providers to take advantage of online resources like the patient Web site "MyResMed provides a free service to help dealers and sleep clinicians educate and support new CPAP users — that's the way to help patients have a successful future. The site addresses common questions that constitute most patient inquiries, allowing dealers to attend to more urgent requests. MyResMed also provides customizable mask and accessory replacement reminders to help HMEs improve patient care and drive trailing revenues," said Farrell.

To view more results from the complete survey — including how often patients reported cleaning their masks and using their therapy — visit

This article originally appeared in the June 2006 issue of HME Business.

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