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 Oxygen Concentrator
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moltenflower
Rookie

USA
7 Posts

Posted - Nov 27 2018 :  11:43:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My husband has severe to moderate COPD but Medicare won't allow him a prescription for O2 because his "walk test" didn't get down to 88%; he got down to 91% but was like a fish out of water at that point #128561; He can't sleep because he can't breathe laying down. Sadly, the CPAP gives him no relief either and doesn't prevent the episodes that are similar to asthma (acute shortness of breath... he's going through his rescue inhaler rapidly).

I'm wanting to buy an oxygen concentrator for him but can't afford more than $400. There are SO many brands on Ebay and Amazon, I don't know where to begin. Can anyone recommend a portable oxygen concentrator that has continuous flow?

I really appreciate the help.

Dave-OH
Administrator

USA
4177 Posts

Posted - Nov 28 2018 :  12:36:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have one, and they are more like $2,500. Talk to his doctor. Walk and sleep are two different things. A POC requires a prescription, and it is illegal to sell them on Amazon or eBay. This is what I have, not necessarily who I bought it from, but the price is about the same everywhere.

https://www.directhomemedical.com/simplygo-portable-oxygen-concentrator-respironics.html

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Dave-OH
Administrator

USA
4177 Posts

Posted - Nov 28 2018 :  12:37:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is the home unit I have, provided for me by the VA.

https://www.directhomemedical.com/everflo-q-oxygen-concentrator-philips-respironics.html

Dave, Forum Administrator
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Jocopd
Member

USA
142 Posts

Posted - Nov 28 2018 :  07:39:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Medicare has different stages they will cover on oxygen. There is a diagnosis of "needs with activity" or "needs around the house" or "needs all the time" He is not meeting the "needs all the time" which is the only time medicare will cover portable oxygen. They will cover the others with a home concentrator. Those are not determined by a walk test but:

The overnight sleep test with a wristband. If the o2 falls low enough while he is sleeping then the doctor would prescribe oxygen and in turn medicare will cover that one with a home concentrator. Medicare will not cover a portable for "overnight". You have to have a need for oxygen 24/7 to get a portable thru medicare.

I feel there is some misunderstanding here as you mention the cpap not helping - cpap does not help with copd or asthma it is more for breathing problems of a different nature.

I think a good talk with the doctor would help get you guys lined out.

Many of the home oxygen concentrators are also used for glass blowing which is how people can sell them without a prescription. They just throw a disclaimer on there that it is not to be used for health reasons. So while you can buy used oxygen equipment thru ebay or craigs list you take a big chance of dumping your money out the window since you don't know if the item is still working right. They calibrate the machines so if its not putting out the right oxygen its a waste of money. There is a good company in Florida that I have bought 2 home concentrators thru - one at $300/used and a new one at $600. But you still need a script.

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moltenflower
Rookie

USA
7 Posts

Posted - Nov 28 2018 :  10:56:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Dave, for the links to look at the units. We've been trying to get a prescription for oxygen but so far, haven't met Medicare's requirements like I stated above. But, we're still working on it :) My husband was diagnosed with COPD while he was in the ICU recovering from open heart surgery exactly three years ago. Prior to that, we had no idea that he had any sort of lung problem. There is so much to learn and finding the right pulmonologist is what we're trying to do now. He has one currently but this doctor keeps focusing on his Sleep Apnea and just trying to treat his COPD with inhalers.

@Jocopd, thank you for all of the specifics regarding Medicare! He goes back in to see his primary care physician tomorrow so I'm hoping to get a referral to a new pulmonologist. His current pulmonologist (a physician's assistant...we haven't seen the actual pulmonologist in-person as of yet) is always focusing on the CPAP for his Sleep Apnea instead of focusing on his COPD. Once we get referred to the new pulmonologist, (the actual doctor who diagnosed him with COPD while he was in the ICU three years ago), we'll be asking for the overnight sleep test. (He went through a Sleep Study (an overnight event) just this past April.)

Thanks for all of the info...this is a very frustrating illness for people to live with, as well as, the caregivers trying to help.
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tsainta
Contributing Member

USA
1846 Posts

Posted - Nov 28 2018 :  1:09:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You don't need to meet Medicare's 88% criteria to buy a concentrator; you just need a prescription.

Tony-CA

Take care of business or business will take care of you.
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moltenflower
Rookie

USA
7 Posts

Posted - Nov 28 2018 :  3:41:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm jumping on this tomorrow with his new PCP! Thanks so much!!
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Diane545
Member

USA
273 Posts

Posted - Dec 02 2018 :  4:31:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As to the walking test I was told by another person not to take any inhalers a few hours before your test as this could raise your sat level. Medicare originally approved me for oxygen for exertion only. Then I did the sleep test at home where they put on your finger and dropped below 88 five times so They approved it at night. Now after 3 years I am on it 24/7. I have emphysema and get very short breath. I thought once I have oxygen it would relieve these symptoms and it didn't. I also thought turning up the 02 would help and was told too much 02 can be dangerous. I learned a lot in rehab and one the most beneficial things was to purse lip breathing. I hope you get some help for your husband. Did you see a pulmonologist if so get another dr. I would also talk to his heart doctor as it could be heart related.
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jmrommes
Contributing Member

1914 Posts

Posted - Dec 02 2018 :  8:35:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Diane, the business about turning your O2 up being dangerous is a bit more complicated than that. The issue really is, are you really SOB and your sats are still good. If that's the case, the PLB will help, but more O2 won't make any difference at all. You problem is not that your sats are going down; the problem is that you've exhausted any reserve you had and now that's what's causing you being SOB. More O2 won't make any difference; you need to make more room for O2 and one way to do that is to lower the CO2 level, and you do that by doing PLB. That's one of the things that's very hard to understand about being SOB; sometimes it's not your saturation levels going down; it's the space you have available for O2. There's a really good video on the COPD Foundation web site called COPD 101; a series of five videos, and I think it's the fourth in the series that's a very good explanation of this.

Exercise not only lets me live, it enables me to have a life.
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moltenflower
Rookie

USA
7 Posts

Posted - Dec 03 2018 :  11:56:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you for the advice on purse lip breathing. I will also check out the video series with my husband. We did see his primary care physician last Thursday who wrote out a script for o2. We also are waiting on him to send the referral to the pulmonologist we want...following up with this tomorrow. Currently, my husband is just constantly SOB. He has the windows opened everywhere he is...he says the fresh air is the only thing that helps him. The doctor mentioned he believes my husband needs a nebulizer because he's unable to get the albuterol deep enough in his lungs. Consequently, he's getting no relief when he uses his rescue inhaler, which he's using at least 10-12 times a day. I'm anxious to watch the video series with him and hoping the breathing techniques help him.
Thanks again!!
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Diane545
Member

USA
273 Posts

Posted - Dec 04 2018 :  09:43:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Jean for putting the 02 purse lip breathing in plain English we can understand. This is what happens to me. I am learning so much from this board. I will look up those videos. I also open windows to get air. I keep a fan close by at all times which seems help if I am feeling like I'm not getting air. The doctor said it is probably more phycholical but if it works continue to use it. I am glad your husband is getting help with his primary. Nothing worse than not being able breathe.
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moltenflower
Rookie

USA
7 Posts

Posted - Dec 05 2018 :  1:56:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jocopd

There is a good company in Florida that I have bought 2 home concentrators thru - one at $300/used and a new one at $600. But you still need a script.





What is the name of this company in Florida you use?

Thanks so much!!
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Jocopd
Member

USA
142 Posts

Posted - Dec 05 2018 :  8:43:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Not sure if we are allowed to post companies but I think I have mentioned them before Altra Service Professionals, Inc in Ocala Fla. They have free shipping even if your sending back for repair or what ever.
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Dave-OH
Administrator

USA
4177 Posts

Posted - Dec 05 2018 :  11:59:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That is fine

Dave, Forum Administrator
COPD Support, Inc. http://www.copd-support.com/
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Dave-OH
Administrator

USA
4177 Posts

Posted - Dec 06 2018 :  12:15:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
https://altraservice.com/

Dave, Forum Administrator
COPD Support, Inc. http://www.copd-support.com/
Your source for peer support and COPD Info

Chat room http://chat.copd-support.com
Mobile chat room for pads and phone Chat room http://chat.copd-support.com/m

My Site: http://lungresources.com
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moltenflower
Rookie

USA
7 Posts

Posted - Dec 06 2018 :  08:43:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jocopd

Not sure if we are allowed to post companies but I think I have mentioned them before Altra Service Professionals, Inc in Ocala Fla. They have free shipping even if your sending back for repair or what ever.



I apologize for asking for something I wasn't allowed to ask for. I didn't mean to put you in a precarious situation #128543; Thank you so much for telling me!!
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moltenflower
Rookie

USA
7 Posts

Posted - Dec 06 2018 :  08:45:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dave-OH

https://altraservice.com/



Dave, thank you allowing the answer and even providing the link!! I apologize for asking for info that wasn't allowed...I didn't know. I'm very sorry.
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Dave-OH
Administrator

USA
4177 Posts

Posted - Dec 06 2018 :  08:56:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It was allowed. We do not allow advertising, but allow members to share.

Dave, Forum Administrator
COPD Support, Inc. http://www.copd-support.com/
Your source for peer support and COPD Info

Chat room http://chat.copd-support.com
Mobile chat room for pads and phone Chat room http://chat.copd-support.com/m

My Site: http://lungresources.com
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Jocopd
Member

USA
142 Posts

Posted - Dec 06 2018 :  5:21:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
All is good :)
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