Beyond 90 Days: Why Resupply Programs are Crucial to Therapy Success
When patients start a sleep therapy program using equipment like a CPAP machine, they take an important step on the road to better health and improved quality of life. But that road hits an important crossroad after 90 days when the introductory mask system and cushion expire.
According to a study in the journal Sleep, funded by ResMed, more than one-quarter of patients who don’t enroll in a resupply program for their equipment fail to continue their sleep therapy for a full year after diagnosis. Of the patients studied who did enroll in a resupply program, only 11 percent stopped their therapy regimen after 90 days. In the period of 91 days to 365 days after starting sleep therapy, the resupply-enrolled group also used their PAP machine for longer each night (approximately 5.6 hours) compared to the non-enrolled group (4.5 hours per night).
In other words, sleep therapy patients who aren’t enrolled in a mask resupply program tend to stop using their machines or use them less, after just three months. Some of those patients may feel their symptoms have abated to the point where they don’t need to use respiratory equipment during sleep anymore. The more likely reality for many of these patients, though, is that when their equipment becomes old and unusable, they simply stop engaging in the therapy even though they still need it. Either way, long-term therapy use has proven to be vital to the quality of life and reduced mortality rates.
Initial adherence is a big focus in sleep medicine, as it should be – beginning sleep therapy can involve a significant lifestyle change for patients, and it’s important for them to stick to the prescribed regimen in order to correct sleep problems. But continued adherence doesn’t always get enough attention, despite being just as important in the long run.
According to an article in Sleep Review Magazine, which examines some of the Sleep journal’s findings, one study found that two-thirds of patients who failed to replace their masks for more than a year did so because they were never made aware they could enroll in a resupply program. That means their home medical equipment provider never informed them about the option to set up their resupply enrollment.
“Resupply is a critical component to keeping our patients healthy and compliant with their insurance requirements,” said Jessica Corcoran, Reliable’s Inside Sales Support Specialist. The program is optional but encouraged. “Our resupply portal reminds patients through calls, texts, and email when it’s time for them to replace equipment, and we also offer equipment that helps them sanitize pieces to keep them clean.”
Reliable also makes sure the reorder process is seamless.
“Comfort and simplicity are key,” Corcoran said. “When patients are comfortable, it makes it more manageable for them to continue with their therapy.”
It’s important for patients to know that when they start sleep therapy, they have the option of enrolling in a resupply program. That knowledge ensures that when their equipment has reached the end of its useful life, they don’t have to go back to square one.
Visit our Shop for your resupply needs.