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Anyone know whether it's ok to buy a CPAP machine from outside the US and use it here, and avoid getting an official diagnosis that could be a black mark on your insurance prospects?

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So who's to know? To the best of my knowledge the only thing "officials" are concerned about in bringing in something like a CPAP is that if purchased abroad they want their share of the "customs duty". M-O-N-E-Y is their only concern.
Maybe I am missing something. I see nothing wrong with buying a machine abroad. My problem is with avoiding the whole diagnosis part. PD I understand that you are a PAP therapy pro whom has a very good idea of what is going on with yours and most machines. Even though you might not agree a certain level of education came with the Dx process. Whether it was on your own or from your DR./DME you were educated by this process. If you look at some of the members whose diagnosis process took short cuts(ie chris or Russ to name a few) they have been having more problems than the norm. I know that quite a few members had problems with this process, but it is not always like that. If the right people are in place to carry it out the system does work.
I can foresee 2 problems.

1. A machine purchased outside of the US will possibly be wire for the country to which it was intended for. In the US, the electrical standard is 110vac/220vac/60hz. Most other countries use a 50hz standard and a different voltage. The machine might not function and when you plug it into a US electrical grid, you are now the proud owner of a paperweight.

2. Any insurance form to which you fill out after you have started self-medicating with a "prescription required" device and you fail to disclose that information, whether legally dispensed or not, places you in the position of committing insurance fraud. In most states that is a felony. It also would result in the insurance company not having to pay the claim and/or to litigate for recovery.

Is it worth a few bucks difference?
1] is easy enough. Most of today's leading CPAPs can easily be used in foreign countries w/minor adapters.

2] I don't know of any insurance form or questionaire that asks what "prescription required" devices you may be using. All I've ever seen them ask for is Dx'd problems and/or do you suffer from ....
In the US you see adapters to convert to foreign voltages, but I haven't seen ones to convert foreign to US. I am sure they exist.

The insurance forms do ask to what medical conditions you are being treated. Self-treatment is still treatment. Fraud is fraud and it costs each and every one of us.


Judy said:
1] is easy enough. Most of today's leading CPAPs can easily be used in foreign countries w/minor adapters.

2] I don't know of any insurance form or questionaire that asks what "prescription required" devices you may be using. All I've ever seen them ask for is Dx'd problems and/or do you suffer from ....
yes, I share this view with j n k

j n k said:
Until everyone is required to "pass" an NPSG to get insurance, in the interest of fairness, I consider it fraud to punish those who are preventing disease in themselves while rewarding those choosing to foster disease in themselves. THAT, my friends, is TRUE insurance fraud--fraud perpetrated by the insurance industry on us all!

Not that I have strong opinions, or anything. :-)
This is why I don't comment on Discussions much anymore. I just read and shake my head. So , you want an unoffcial diagnosis? You're Crazy! Thats a black mark on your Brain.
That makes since. Sorry PD I misunderstood. Thanks for clearing that up jeff.

j n k said:
Rock,

I may be wrong, but I think the problem PD is getting at is how people who refuse to get diagnosed can continue to pay low insurance premiums while the people who get diagnosed and treated get punished financially for caring enough about their health to be proactive with taking care of themselves.

THAT part of the system is broken, in my opinion, since it rewards the ones who never get diagnosed and let their health deteriorate and punishes those who are working to prevent bad health.

As I understand it, the question asked by insurance is whether someone has been diagnosed with sleep apnea. Getting the treatment without the diagnosis is a way to remain truthful when answering the question yet still improve one's health all at the same time.

I agree it would be better healthwise to go through the diagnosis process. But I also agree the insurance system is stupid when it punishes those who do, so it may be better financially to avoid the busted system completely if you can find a way to do so safely.

Rock Hinkle said:
Maybe I am missing something. I see nothing wrong with buying a machine abroad. My problem is with avoiding the whole diagnosis part. PD I understand that you are a PAP therapy pro whom has a very good idea of what is going on with yours and most machines. Even though you might not agree a certain level of education came with the Dx process. Whether it was on your own or from your DR./DME you were educated by this process. If you look at some of the members whose diagnosis process took short cuts(ie chris or Russ to name a few) they have been having more problems than the norm. I know that quite a few members had problems with this process, but it is not always like that. If the right people are in place to carry it out the system does work.
This article kind of fits this post. It talks about why insurance cost are going up.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-06-19-health-economy_N.htm...
The thing that makes me a bit leery of these type of articles is that every one of them keeps referring to Kaiser and Kaiser data. Given the reputation Kaiser has amongst so many patients ...... that is kinda scarey. I don't doubt the underlying suggested causes - but I have a big problem w/the accuracy and reliability of the figures they toss out. Kaiser is known to be big on "bean counting". We've seen what the "bean counters" have done w/the automotive industry, the financial industry AND our economy.

I read in Kiplinger's about 20 years ago, one of the old robber barons from the past, maybe J P Morgan, I don't remember which one, said: if a man makes more than 10% profit on his customer, he is screwing his customer. Yet a 10% return no longer satisfies Wall Street. Companies can't plan for the future as they are forced into satisfying Wall Street yesterday and today.

AND it always pays to take a good look at the after tax profits of these insurance companies - and for-profit hospitals before buying into too much of this and swallowing it all whole as the gospel. I can get better care cheaper at Mayo Clinic than I can locally. I'd rather find out how Mayo does it than how Kaiser suggests we do it.
The article you reference, Rock, appears to be more of a political publication in support of the great "change" than statement of facts.

Any more, I tend to shy away from anything written in the mainstream media. The media outlets to which this article is published and copyrighted, USA Today and AP, have demonstrated their extreme far left stance.

Granted the US Health Care system is out of control, but the proposed "hope & change" is nothing but hype & bull and the media is in the current leadership’s pocket. It will destroy what little functionality exists and create another government-controlled monster.
I just posted it too add to the conversation. Working in a hospital we get alot of stuff like this. Anyway far left, far right at least it is a stand. you can't just ignore an opinion because it does not agree with your own. I read it all. Every political, left wing right wing, green, article they put in front of my face. i believe that I put my own views at risk by not knowing what is going on.

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