Hi there. Concerning sleep apnea and CPAP, I remember reading that insurance companies pay for a person’s visits to their pulmonologist/sleep specialist at the following times: on or after the first month; on or after three months; on or after six months; and on or after twelve months. I would imagine that insurance companies use these specific guidelines to not only make a person “CPAP compliant” (or to cause them to become compliant), but also, to actually help them.
I have my first appointment to see my pulmonologist/sleep specialist tomorrow. My question is, would an insurance company allow a person (and pay for a person) to see their doctor “in between” the “insurance-mandated” time periods (in other words, between month one and month three; between month three and month six; etc.) – if that particular person really NEEDED to see their doctor for an “extra” visit?
So far, after reading quite a bit of literature that I received from my CPAP supplier, the sleep lab, etc., all I see are basically “insurance-mandated” dates (at least what I call them; perhaps I should REALLY be calling them “insurance-recommended” dates). These dates seem to leave absolutely NO “wiggle room” for a person if they really NEED to see their doctor every now and then – OUTSIDE of the “insurance-mandated” dates.
Can a “veteran CPAP user” (or at least someone who is a sleep apnea “veteran”) get back to me on this, so I know how to approach this for my immediate future – and so that I am not just left to worry and speculate about this? I already compiled a long list of questions for my doctor, to the point where I automatically know that I am not going to be given enough time to ask/comment on everything that IS important to me; also, my husband will be coming with me to the first appointment, so I know that HE is going to want to share things, also. Perhaps I should simply photocopy ALL of my comments/questions and just give them to the doctor – so then, I am reassured that he has all of my quests, etc. all “at his fingertips.”
I think that all of this may not be bothering me so much if I didn’t also have “OTHER things on my plate” (like a history of concussions ‘which caused MASSIVE sleep problems for at least twenty years BEFORE I was even diagnosed with sleep apnea;’ PTSD; long -standing anxiety and depression; a husband who wakes up for work at 4:30 am every day; dust, mold and food allergies; etc.). It also seems as some of these “sleep doctors” are ONLY focus on the “sleep apnea” diagnosis (as if it is the only, “end all” problem) – and they don’t seem to address any surrounding, and actually-occurring, sleep disorders that may COEXIST WITH the sleep apnea. I know that a person is certainly more likely to die of sleep apnea (and the terrible conditions that arise from it) and not so much from a more generalized (or specific) “sleep disorder” (such as delayed-onset insomnia, and/or any of the other types of “insomnias” that rightfully DO indeed exist out there). It just seems as if the doctors are concerned with treating the “sleep apnea” PART of a person, instead of the WHOLE person (at least when it comes to their other sleep disorders as well).
I would like to be able to see the “sleep specialist” concerning my OTHER types of insomnia, if at all possible – and I am really not sure if the insurance companies will even let me since they seem to have a rigid monthly and yearly appointment schedule in place once they find that a person is actually diagnosed with “sleep apnea.”
Can anyone out there shed some further insight into this issue for me? Also, can someone let me know if I am wrong about some sleep doctors/pulmonologists NOT addressing the “insomnia” part of the equation (for I really don’t mean to stereotype all “sleep specialists,” especially where the diagnosis of “sleep apnea” is involved)? Thank you SO very much.