Why Resupply

Sleep apnea disorder is a growing concern among adult men and women between 30-70 years of age. According to recent studies, about 13% of men and 6% of women have moderate to severe sleep apnea. Unfortunately, as many as 85% of people who have sleep apnea remain undiagnosed and untreated.

On average, only 5% of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) patients replace their masks on the recommended quarterly schedule, while 48% of patients never replace their masks. Why?

  • It's inconvenient
  • They don’t know that they can
  • They don't know how to go about it

This means patients aren't getting the full benefits of therapy, aren't compliant with treatment protocols, and the provider is losing potential profit.

It is very important to maintain and replace masks, cushions, headgear, tubing, filters, and chin straps. Replacing CPAP supplies regularly means that patients can:

  • Control the amount of bacteria in the CPAP mask and tubing
  • Minimize the potential risk of bacterial infection
  • Avoid dirty filters that can damage CPAP machines

Did you know that Medicare and most other insurance providers recommend replacing CPAP supplies according to a set schedule, yet less than half of patients actually do so. Replacing masks and accessories regularly helps ensure patients receive the best, most comfortable therapy possible.

Five reasons why patients need to replace CPAP supplies:

  1. CPAP supplies are disposable.
    Most common CPAP masks are made of plastic and silicone and the headgear is made of neoprene. All of these materials break down with frequent use.
  2. Cushions lose their seals over time.
    If patients need to continually tighten and overtighten the headgear to maintain a seal with their masks, it will not fit comfortably, and they can actually harm themselves in the process. If red skin sores appear and become more prominent, it is time to replace the mask and headgear.
  3. Prolonged use increases the risk of bacterial infection.
    The longer the masks are used, the more difficult it is to eliminate bacteria. The masks and the tubing need to be cleaned regularly with mild soapy water and left to dry without direct sunlight, or bacteria will grow. Studies show that after 1 year of use, no amount of cleaning can eliminate the bacterial growth.
  4. Dirty filters damage CPAP machines.
    The filters in a CPAP machine need to be replaced regularly. If dust and other contaminants build up, they cause the CPAP machine to overheat and, in time, damage the motor.
  5. Sun damage can take its toll.
    Direct sunlight can damage the materials in the mask, tubing, and CPAP machines. All CPAP equipment and supplies should be stored out of direct sunlight as it speeds up the deterioration.

CPAP Supplies Replacement Schedule

Many CPAP users don't realize that most of the supplies associated with sleep therapy are disposable. Masks, tubing, filters, and headgear are not designed to last for a long time, and using them past their recommended life span can actually jeopardize their effectiveness. Delicate silicone mask cushions can develop leaks, clogged filters can allow dust and pollen to be delivered into the airway, and over-stretched headgear can require extreme tightening, causing pressure-point pain.

Below you will find the recommended replacement schedule for CPAP supplies, based on information from Medicare and private insurance companies:

  • Cushions and filters – 30 days
  • Shells and tubes – 90 days
  • Headgear, foam filters, chin straps, and water chambers – 180 days