How to Find a Durable Medical Equipment DME?

by Julie
(Amarillo, TX)

What are some guidelines on choosing a DME?

This first one we picked because of autoship option has been a nightmare. No help no explanation.

I have learned more from your site than from this DME. So we want to get a different one.

So how do we make an informed decision the 2nd time around?

We have struggled to get CPAP masks (first one took 5 weeks) supposed to get a new cushion once a month and still 3 months later no new cushion.

Their solution to stopping air leaks is to tighten it down so tight it clogging up saliva ducts and leaving huge indents.


Choosing a DME (durable medical equipment provider), a CPAP mask, and a sleep doctor are the three hardest things in CPAP therapy. It's really annoying to be so tired but have to fight with all these obstacles to get a good night sleep with a CPAP.

I will write an article about how to choose a DME provider for sleep apnea patients, but until then, I will give you some tips related to this subject:

  • Contact your insurance company

  • How the insurance company pay for your equipments? Do they bill by code number (all CPAP machines fall under the same code number)? And what you will be paying for?

    To have a starting point in your research for DMEs, make sure you choose a DME that will work with your insurance company. Can you find this information on their website, or you have to call them?

  • What do you need?

  • You should already know about what you need to buy, before contacting your DME. This is difficult to do, because most beginners don't know anything about CPAP, and they just want the doctors to choose from them.

    However, with no idea of what you need for your treatment, you will be at the mercy of the DME personnel, and what's best for them, not necessarily for you.

    You have a lot of helpful information on this site about CPAP machines and masks, so take advantage from it. Make sure you know what machines are data capable, and insist that you get a data capable CPAP machine, not just compliance data.

  • Copy of your prescription

  • Having a copy of your prescription in your hand will help you in choosing your CPAP mask and machine.

  • Calling DME's

  • It's possible that you have a list of DME's from your insurance company website. Now you can start calling them.

    Because now you know what you need, ask them on the phone how they will fulfill your request. You can get a sense about whether they will work respectfully with you to find the best set up for YOUR needs and wishes or treat you like an idiot while they try to protect their bottom line over your needs.

    So the first impression is important.

  • Return Policy

  • What happens if the CPAP mask you choose is not working very well for you? Make sure any DME you work with has a liberal mask return policy.

    They should be very open to having you trade out masks for at LEAST the first 30 days to ensure that you find the most comfortable mask for you--the mask is the key to success in CPAP therapy.

  • Staff Help

  • Ask if someone from their stuff is registered technician, and knows about CPAP equipment.

    You also want to find out if the staff from DME provide trouble shooting issues, such as dealing with mask leaks, or cleaning issues, CPAP rainout, etc.

With Durable Medical Equipment providers (DME) it's a bit of a crazy world out there, but if you are a careful consumer, you can get the best equipment and mask for you to ensure your CPAP success.

I hope it helps. Don't be afraid to comment back.

Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide

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