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VA will not give me a CPAP without travel to major area clinic


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I am new to VA since January 2020 and have a 70% rating.  I have been using a CPAP for a year and it has worked well.  My machine is about shot (bought it used).  I was approved to get a new unit from the VA but they said I had to drive up to Montgomery, Alabama (2++ hr. each way) to pick it up in person.  I told them at my age and with the complications of COPD and oxygen I did not feel safe traveling that far.

They have refused to mail me a machine which is exactly like the one I am using now and have used for a year.  I asked to have it mailed to me and they said no.  I asked to have it sent to a local DME and then do telehealth with the clinic - they said no.  So we have gone around on this for 2+ months now and it seems unreasonable, especially now with this virus stuff.

I went to the advocate who lucky for me is in another state!!!  She has done nothing to help and just tells me it has been refereed to management ... I aske my primary 3 times about this and she passes the buck back to the clinic.

So I can't get past the advocate who is worthless and the CPAP clinic says TS. Is my only option to just roll over and beg or play dead?  If this is VA health care it really sucks and I can't imaging what folks who are totally dependent on it must put up with.

Any advice how to get this VA in Alabama to help?

Thank you

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I know our local DAV has a van for taking vets to appointments. Could you perhaps get a ride there that way?

I had trouble with a past doctor at my clinic. I requested a change but it was denied. I don't even go to the patient advocate anymore because she is worthless. I called my congressman. I had to call a few times. The last time I called the clinic director called me within 15 minutes of my call to the congressman's office. You could try that.

Good luck. I know it is aggravating as hell dealing with the VA.

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Sorry your have problems with the VA  We all have problems with the VA at one time or another.   Are you service connected for OSA? (Sleep Apnea) and VA Prescribe your machine?

 By pass these VA Advocates I never had and luck with them.

Have you talk to the VAMC Director? or called the Washington Hotline#

About the only thing I can recommend is call this VA SLEEP CLINIC and ask them if you can send a family member or a good well know long time friend  to pick up your c-pap Machine, they should know why you can't travel. 

 

 

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They dont mail cpap's because too many people would not figure out how to use it, "even if" its not your first one.  

The pressure has to be set to your prescription.  

You need to know how to clean it and change the filters, as well as how to put the mask on.  

While they are not complicated, they have a policy in place that the Veteran has to get his cpap in person, then be shown how to use it.  

This said, since you already have another cpap just like it, contact your VAMC directors office.  I get results with mine.  

You can also try the whitehouse hotline.  

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I agree with broncovet here, I remember back when I got my prescription for a C-Pap  They had me to come in to a C-Pap class to learn how to set the pressure settings  as they are set to what your sleep study revealed and they teach you how to re-set the pressure settings  IF YOU NEED IT UP OR DOWN and how to care for your machine clean it and use it.

They were about 8 of us in the c-pap clinic . 

I Think they should let someone pick it up for you if you call and ask  especially if you have been to the  VA C-Pap  Instruction class.

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Thanks for the replies.

Well, I have been using the same machine Philips Dreamstation, for a year and know as much about it as they do - they also know this.  I have 100% compliance now with mine and my AHI is down to 1.8.  It was 58.8 when I did the sleep study.  So, it seems to me that it is a policy issue or a hard nose in the clinic and it is going to be his way or no way - that is my impression anyway unless I can find a bypass.

I am Viet Nam, USMC, era and travel is not easy, COPD, oxygen, etc. .. my wife does most of the driving so transportation isn't an issue.  If I catch this virus I am DEAD so there is no possibility I will travel to a major area full of sick folks to pick up a CPAP machine in-person ... nope.  Where I am in lower Alabama we only have one case ... at Montgomery where the clinic is there are a thousand.

Good information on the advocate - she has been totally worthless to date.  I am 70% rated so I should have 100% VA health care coverage.  They have not rated the actual sleep apnea yet but if they do I will be 100% rated.  I am already in group 1.

I just don't know where to go next and have successfully PO'd some folks after messing with them for 6 weeks.

Thanks again for the replies!

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