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 O2 Support & Lung Function Testing
 Medicare won't cover mom's O2 supplies?
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jennster
Rookie

USA
6 Posts

Posted - Dec 04 2012 :  9:19:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When my mom moved from joint medicare/medicaid to medicare (a separate long story) only she was told she would have to take lung function tests in order to qualify for coverage. Per the medicare website only an ABG test is required. When she went for testing she was told she had to go through a series of breathing tests which she could not even get past the first phase of. Since she could not complete these tests she is not covered. We are concerned since her concentrator sounds like it is about to die. We had to make an emergency trip to get one off of craigslist when her last one died. It was used and she complains that something comes through the cannula. It gets a wierd white ring of dust around it sometimes. But I digress. We are stuck in bureaucratic red tape and hope someone around here has some scissors.

PennyPA
Contributing Member

USA
4463 Posts

Posted - Dec 04 2012 :  11:09:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The PFT (lung function test) does not show whether or not a person needs O2. Who told you that? Normally, a doctor will do a 6-min. walk test to determine the need for O2. And ABG can indicate the same but the 6-min test is less painful. Call her doctor and let him/her prescribe whichever test (6-min walk or ABG) he wants her to have to qualify for O2.

****************************************************************

You canít change the past but you can ruin the present worrying about the future.

The Bad News: Time flies as you get older.
The Good News: Youíre still the pilot.

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And Our Travel Blog After LVRS




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Dave-OH
Administrator

USA
3289 Posts

Posted - Dec 04 2012 :  11:51:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Penny told you right. 6 minute walk during activity, sleep study for 24/7. And failure to complete is reason to Rx O2.

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jennster
Rookie

USA
6 Posts

Posted - Dec 05 2012 :  12:29:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, I called the O2 supplier and they said the needed an off O2 sat of 88% or less. I'm not sure WHO was requesting the PFTs. She has pretty bad COPD. Pretty much housebound and gets out of breath very easily. I hope she qualifies. We really don't have the $ to do a concentrator out of pocket. She currently uses a nebulizer with ipotropium bromide and albuterol. I just want a better quality of life for her and to not to have to worry about everything.
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tsainta
Contributing Member

USA
1206 Posts

Posted - Dec 05 2012 :  2:23:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I went on oxygen through Medicare when I had an overnight O2 monitor that showed my sats below 88% for a small percentage of the time that I can't remember (and I don't have sleep apnea). It was several years before I had low sats during normal daytime activity--but I got the concentrator based on the overnight readings, and once I had it, I could turn it on whenever it suited me. Maybe you should look into an overnight O2 monitor. The local supplier will probably administer it if the doc will prescribe it.

Tony-CA

Law of Probability - The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.
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PennyPA
Contributing Member

USA
4463 Posts

Posted - Dec 05 2012 :  2:23:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Jenn, are the ipatropium and albuterol the only meds she's on? There are other meds she can be on that will help with her symptoms. How old is your Mom? Does she have a pulmonary doctor...or even a good gp that's familiar with copd? As you found out, she does not need a pft in order to get O2. Have her go to her doctor and have him do a 6-min walk test. She won't even have to walk for 6 mins to qualify for O2. As soon as she drops to 88%, they will note the distance she walked and the doc will be able to script the O2 for her.

****************************************************************

You canít change the past but you can ruin the present worrying about the future.

The Bad News: Time flies as you get older.
The Good News: Youíre still the pilot.

Penny's Lung Volume Reduction Surgery

And Our Travel Blog After LVRS




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jennster
Rookie

USA
6 Posts

Posted - Dec 05 2012 :  9:02:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for all the help everyone.

Penny, she does take an inhaler but very seldom. She says it doesn't really help anymore. What other meds should we be looking at? She is 65. She doesn't have a pulmomary doc. The doc she insists on seeing isn't even a doctor. I hate the little clinic but it is where she wants to go. I wish I knew of someone good in the area (Fort Worth). On my next unobligated day off we will go in and do that walk test. Not sure why anyone ordered a PFT in the first place...
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PennyPA
Contributing Member

USA
4463 Posts

Posted - Dec 05 2012 :  10:33:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Most people with copd are on (1)a bronchodilator/corticosteroid combination such as advair or symbicort and (2)an anticholinergic (such as Spiriva or Atrovent) to help prevent bronchospasms. They also use albuterol as a fast-acting rescue inhaler. There are different combinations of these meds that some people use but they all (except for the albuterol) have to be used on a continuous basis to do any good.

Who is she seeing at the clinic if it's not even a doctor??? Maybe you can get her to see a good pulmonary doctor for one time to get started on the right meds on the right timetable and then go to her clinic for normal day-to-day stuff and to keep watch to make sure she's following the pulmo's instructions. It'd be really good if the 2 of them (pulmo and her not-even-doctor) could talk with each other and come up with a plan for her.

She's not old at all and she's got a lot of living to do. Unfortunately, she should also get that PFT test done to get a baseline of just where she is with the disease. Why couldn't she finish the previous PFT?

****************************************************************

You canít change the past but you can ruin the present worrying about the future.

The Bad News: Time flies as you get older.
The Good News: Youíre still the pilot.

Penny's Lung Volume Reduction Surgery

And Our Travel Blog After LVRS




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jennster
Rookie

USA
6 Posts

Posted - Dec 06 2012 :  11:58:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The issue she had with the PFT was she just runs out of breath way too easily. After the first test she stopped it and said she couldn't go on due to SOB.
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PennyPA
Contributing Member

USA
4463 Posts

Posted - Dec 07 2012 :  09:45:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The first test is where you inhale as far as you can and then exhale as far as you can. She will be out of breath after doing that one. She can just tell the therapist she needs to get her breath back before they continue. Tell your Mom she should get a pft because she should have baseline numbers to start with. It will also help in future treatment. Is being sob her only symptom? If she's not had the pft, how does she know she has copd? Has she had her heart checked with an echocardiogram at the very least?

****************************************************************

You canít change the past but you can ruin the present worrying about the future.

The Bad News: Time flies as you get older.
The Good News: Youíre still the pilot.

Penny's Lung Volume Reduction Surgery

And Our Travel Blog After LVRS




Go to Top of Page
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