We all like to think we may be getting great value for our money or the proverbial,‘more bang for your buck’ when we shop especially in today’s internet economy, So, why should buying a CPAP or CPAP supplies be any different?
At Comprehensive Sleep Care Center, we are often asked “why can’t I order my supplies online?” The answer is, as you know, you can; however, we want to point out a few pros and cons to purchasing your sleep apnea masks and other CPAP supplies online.
The pros of purchasing CPAP equipment and supplies online:
1- Perception of cost savings:
The biggest reason we shop online is often to save a few dollars. Normally these larger online/warehouse stores buy machines and products in bulk. Bulk buying allows for the stores to receive discounted rates which they can normally pass on to the customer.
2- Perception of convenience:
When you’re busy, busy, busy it may be hard to add the time it takes in your day to stop at one more place. By shopping online, you save money on gas and commuting time.
3- Shop on your time:
Who doesn’t love the convenience of being able to shop 24/7? You can order supplies at 3:00 a.m. on a Tuesday morning in your sweat pants.
4- Larger selection:
The downfall of brick and mortar stores are the limited sizes and inventory of what they have on hand. When you shop for supplies online you can search through endless amounts of brands, prices, specific needs, etc.
5- Customer reviews:
A lot of online stores have customer reviews where other customers can rate products and/or post pictures of their products they have ordered. It’s really nice to see what other customers think about certain products. Most people probably wouldn’t buy a cheaper mask that falls apart in two weeks if the most expensive mask lasts longer and has better customer reviews.
6- Ability to compare prices:
If you are searching for something you know to be fairly popular item a lot of times you can look a product up and compare prices for at different durable medical equipment (DME) websites before purchasing.
The cons of purchasing CPAP equipment and supplies online:
1- Shipping costs:
Sometimes the cost of shipping can be almost as much as the cost of the product you’re buying.
2- Wait time:
If you want instant gratification, then brick and mortar shopping is the way to go. Online shopping cannot give you instant gratification.
3- Can’t try it on:
This is probably THE biggest con of online shopping when it comes to purchasing a CPAP machine and supplies. You can’t touch the products to see how they feel, determine whether it’s the perfect fit, or see how it looks. If you have to spend 7 to 8 hours in a sleep apnea mask, you want to make sure it is as good a fit and as comfortable as possible. Finding a comfortable mask online is almost impossible.
4- No expert help:
It’s great that you can chat with a customer service rep online, but when it comes to your health you may want to know the person is trained to deal with health questions and medical equipment. Wouldn’t you prefer someone who lives, eats and breathes CPAP equipment versus someone without medical knowledge and four time zones away placing your order online?
5- Lack of check-up:
Compliance is key to successful CPAP Therapy. If you don’t have the correct supplies you aren’t going to wear them and the whole process is null and void. Compliance is also important to your insurance company. Most insurance companies will not pay for the machine or the supplies if you are not using them regularly. At CSCC we can track your compliance and assist you when we see there may be an issue.
6- Online CPAP sites don’t typically work with insurance companies:
The majority of CPAP suppliers online do not participate with Medicare, Medicaid or other insurance carriers and the purchases are private pay. This means the cheap rate you found online is almost always paid by you completely upfront. You can submit your claim to your insurance company but that doesn’t mean your insurance will cover it. Submitting the claim takes time as well.
At Comprehensive Sleep Care, our goal is to help you get the treatment you need for your sleep disorder. That includes working closely with our technicians to find you the perfect CPAP supplies you can wear comfortably so that you will use every single night. We have a large inventory of all different kinds of CPAP masks. We also offer auto supply and shipment of your CPAP supplies directly to you every three months. We bill your insurance directly, so that you don’t have to file with your insurance on your own.
Additionally, we offer our ApneaGuard℠ oral appliance service, an exclusive service of CSCC in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Oral appliances are clinically proven for those with mild to moderate sleep apnea and for those who have tried CPAP, but have found they just can’t tolerate CPAP treatment, they may feel claustrophobic with the CPAP mask and what often happens is they end up giving up on their treatment for sleep apnea. Our ApneaGuard℠ oral appliance service offers a custom fitted, almost invisible, comfortable, silent and low maintenance sleep apnea treatment solution. We have dentists on our team, experienced in sleep health, and we bill directly to your medical insurance, which represents a significant cost savings to your out of pocket costs. To learn more about our oral appliance therapy, please go to byebyecpap.com or call our clinical specialist at 703-729-3420, ext. 227.