"CPAP compliance" could seem like a confusing term at first, but it's really all about making sure your CPAP therapy is as consistent and effective as possible. That means finding the right equipment, air pressure, headgear, mask, and mask liners to ensure comfortable sleep along with a personalized treatment plan that works for you.
This means that you'll work directly with your sleep doctor or therapist to learn how to get the most from your therapy and to figure out a daily and nightly routine that set you up for long-term CPAP success.
Perhaps the best reason to be compliant is that health insurance will cover CPAP costs, which keeps $1,500 to $3,000 in your pocket, but only if you meet their minimum requirements.
Let's unpack all the ideas behind CPAP compliance.
The Requirements for CPAP Compliance
CPAP therapy can only be effective when used as prescribed by your sleep doctor, every night, consistently. It's your consistency that's key, as CPAP patients often find their equipment cumbersome and uncomfortable, causing all too many patients to abandon their therapy prematurely. Don't let it happen to you!
Most insurance companies, as well as Medicare, require a certain minimum amount of CPAP usage within the first 90 days of your treatment to remain compliant. For many, these requirements could be that you use your CPAP device at least 4 hours per night on a minimum of 70% of nights, for example.
You may also be required to have a follow-up meeting with your sleep doctor sometime between your 31st and your 90th night of therapy. This follow-up appointment will allow your doctor to confirm you're using your CPAP therapy as required by your insurance company, which is a key step to staying compliant. They'll use some of the data collected by your CPAP device, as well as ask you about your usage.
In the event you're found to be non-compliant, you may also be required to start the process over with a new sleep study. That's a hassle and potential expense that no one wants.
Here's What You Should Discuss with Your Sleep Doctor
When you start your CPAP therapy, it's key to talk to your sleep doctor about sleep habits and the symptoms that you're experiencing. You'll want to get a clear understanding of your condition and exactly how your CPAP equipment will work with your body.
Equipment is an important part of successful CPAP therapy, so be sure to ask your sleep doctor to walk you through all the details of your equipment. Consider asking them whether you might need a unit with a built-in humidifier to avoid dry-mouth and dry, scratchy airways in the morning. The amount of noise your unit creates might also be a concern for you, so if that's the case, be sure to discuss which equipment might be louder or quieter.
Your CPAP mask is "where the rubber meets the road", meaning it may be the single most important aspect of your equipment when it comes to comfort and performance. One main goal is to achieve a good fit and an effective seal where the mask contacts your face to ensure there are no air leaks. Another goal with your mask is to feel as comfortable as possible. Be sure to talk with your sleep doctor about all your mask options, including nasal masks and nasal pillows, full-face masks, total-face masks, and others. You may even want to try multiple mask options to see which is most comfortable and effective for your habits and needs.
Finally, be sure to leave your sleep doctor with a detailed therapy plan. That will include their recommendations for how often and for how long you use your equipment as well as equipment cleaning schedules and much more, all relating to your insurance provider's compliance requirements. The more clear you are on your therapy plan, the easier it will be to stick to it every night, as prescribed.
How RemZzzs® Helps You Stay CPAP-Compliant
Because comfort is so important to CPAP compliance, RemZzzs® brings you a full lineup of soft, breathable cotton CPAP mask liners to fit all of today's most popular mask sizes, types, and manufacturers. With a RemZzzs® Mask Liner, you can avoid the discomfort, skin irritation, and unsightly red marks on your face that are so common with CPAP masks. Our liners also help with your main goal by ensuring a tight seal without having to adjust your mask too tightly to your face. Plus, our cloth mask liners keep your facial oils off of your mask, helping make cleanup even easier.