These are compliments of rjjayrt, a DME RRT who has been gracing cpaptalk's forum w/his patience and presence:
What To Expect From Your Local Durable Medical Equipment Provider
1. DME should explain to the patient what their insurance requirements will be.
2. Should discuss the cost schedule based on coding, and what the patient will be responsible for.
3. Should provide the patient with dispute resolution options.
What To Expect From Your Local Durable Medical Equipment Provider's Registered Respiratory Therapist
1. The RT should have a discussion with the patient concerning Diagnosis (make sure the patient understands what the diagnosis is), and treatment (explain what Cpap, bipap, fully data capable, auto titrating mean)
2. Discuss the available machine options. If the patient wants an auto titrating machine the RT should be agreeable to pursue with the physician the ability to do so.
3. Once a machine is decided on discuss and demonstrate all functions of the machine. Show the patient a demo download and explain what each value means.
4. Discuss with the patient their sleep habits, if they sleep on their back or stomach, if they're a mouth breather or nose breather. Find out if the patient is claustrophobic or not.
5. Based on #4 discuss the available mask possibilities, let the patient try the mask on while under pressure.
6. After a mask is decided upon, demonstrate proper donning and removal of mask.
7. Assuming you've discussed and demonstrated everything in a way the patient understands, you should be able to have the patient setup their machine, apply their mask, set their humidifier and start therapy. If the patient has problems or is hesitant repeat instruction until patient can complete the task from start to finish without error.
Before the patient leaves discuss known problems with cpap, discuss with them the problems they may have over the next few days or so and discuss with them ways to avoid the problems or ways in which to deal with the problems.
8. Ensure the patient understands accessory replacement schedule, cleaning procedures and most importantly has a way to get in touch with you if there's a problem.
9. Finally make a follow up schedule with the patient so downloads can be done to check progress. I suggest one at 1 week, at 1 month and again at 6 months.
And I would suggest printing these out and taking them to your next local apnea support group meeting!