The process of learning your obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis is now behind you. But, once you have a completed sleep study and diagnosis, that’s not quite the end of the road. While there are a few options available to you in terms of treatment, getting a continuous positive airway pressure machine, or CPAP machine, is the best course of action available to most sleep apnea sufferers. And, much like any other kind of medical treatment available, you need a prescription for a CPAP machine.
Yes, You Need a CPAP Prescription
There are several classes of medical devices categorized under federal US law. CPAP machines are listed as a Class II medical device and are therefore controlled by prescriptions from a licensed doctor. Part of the reason that CPAPs require a prescription is because they can be covered by insurance. Without securing a CPAP prescription, you won’t qualify for insurance coverage of the equipment cost and maintenance.
Another factor is based on the severity of your specific sleep apnea. Not all sleep apnea is created equal and your particular level of severity will dictate the pressure settings your CPAP needs to help relieve your sleep apnea appropriately. These pressure settings will be part of your CPAP prescription and allow you to get the best treatment possible with the equipment best suited to your level of sleep apnea.
You Can Get Prescribed a CPAP, BiPAP, or AutoPAP Machine
CPAP machines are the most common types of machines and deliver steady airflow that provides continuous airway pressure throughout the night. In order to qualify for a CPAP machine, your sleep physician will need to include language that directly identifies the CPAP device by name or by the phrase “continuous positive airway pressure.” Additionally, you must have the doctor’s name and information, your name, the type of sleep apnea diagnosis, and a pressure setting for the machine.
BiPAP machines are slightly different from CPAPs in that they deliver airflow that vacillates between two different pressure settings: one for inhalation and another for exhalation. Like the CPAP prescription, BiPAP prescriptions must list this particular device by name, the doctor’s name and information, your name, the type of sleep apnea diagnosis, and two specific pressure settings for the machine (inhale and exhale pressure).
The third most common type of machine you may get prescribed is an APAP or AutoPAP machine. AutoPAPs deliver airflow at a slightly variable range that is adapted to your specific breathing patterns during sleep. Again, you will need verbatim language that indicates this kind of machine, the doctor’s name and information, your name, the type of sleep apnea diagnosis, and a pressure range setting.
You Need to be Prescribed by an Approved Doctor
As with all prescriptions, it is usually filled out by a Medical Doctor (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) licensed to write prescriptions. It is almost always best to get your prescription for a CPAP or APAP machine from a board certified sleep specialist. All of the following doctors are licensed to write a prescription for your medical device:
- Medical doctors
- Doctor of Osteopathy
- Psychiatrist (MD only)
- Physician assistant
- Nurse practitioner
- Naturopathic physicians
Filling Your Prescription
After securing your prescription for your sleep apnea treatment machine, you will need to figure out the best method to fill your prescription. The ApneaMed AutoPAP machine is available for orders through our website. If you have trouble with this process, you can order your device over the phone by calling 855-276-3263. If you choose to go with a different provider, be sure to do your research so you can get a safe, clean machine that will help you start getting the sleep you deserve.
The process of securing a prescription for a CPAP, BiPAP, or APAP machine doesn’t have to be lengthy or difficult, and your quality of sleep will dramatically improve as will your quality of life. The risk factors of untreated sleep apnea can be overwhelming and scary, but securing the treatment that is right for you can make all the difference.