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A sleep apnea patient needs regular replacement of his CPAP equipment and supplies in order to have an effective treatment. The following table shows the replacement schedule followed by many insurance carriers, who tend to follow the Medicare guidelines. Of note, this is not a standardized schedule and every insurance company have their own versions.
Product Replacement ScheduleDescription
Full Face Mask 1 on a 3-month basis The Full Face Mask (FFM), a plastic portion of CPAP interface, needs replacement once in 3 months. However, the cushion which lines the mask needs replacement more often since it is in direct contact with patient’s face. These need to be replaced on a monthly basis.
Nasal or Pillow Mask 1 every 3 months As with FFM, nasal pillow/mask is a plastic portion of CPAP interface, needs replacement once in 3 months. However, the cushion which lines the mask needs replacement more often since it is in direct contact with patient’s face. These need to be replaced on a monthly basis.
Headgear 1 every 6 months CPAP headgear includes chin straps and masks. These tend to stretch over a period, leading to loss of elasticity, which can cause discomfort and over-tightening and discomfort. It can also become a breeding ground for bacteria resulting from moisture and sweat.
Tubing 1 every 3 months Tubing tends to develop small tears or holes that can result in air leaks. If the CPAP mask tube is leaking, then it impacts treatment from CPAP. This often tends to make CPAP users feel as if they have not had a refreshing sleep.
Chinstrap 1 every 6 months Over a period, chinstraps become stretched which results in them losing elasticity that can result in discomfort and over-tightening. It can also become a breeding ground for bacteria resulting from moisture and sweat.
Full Face Mask Cushion 1 every month Cushions of FFM typically cover the majority of the face and tend to deteriorate over time due to repeated use. One should go for regular replacement especially hygienic purposes, and for ensuring best fit as well as ensuring effective treatment.
Nasal Mask Cushion 2 every month Cushions are in constant contact with patient’s face and need regular replacement. One should go for regular replacement especially hygienic purposes, and for ensuring best fit as well as ensuring effective treatment.
Pillow Mask Pillows 2 every month Like nasal mask and FFM mask, pillow masks in constant contact with patient’s face and moreover, the pillows are inside the patient’s nostrils throughout the night. One should go for regular replacement especially hygienic purposes, and for ensuring best fit as well as ensuring effective treatment.
Heated Tubing 1 every 3 months Tubing tends to develop small tears or holes that can result in air leaks. If the CPAP mask tube is leaking, then it impacts in effective treatment from CPAP. This often tends to make CPAP users feel as if they have not had a refreshing sleep.
Disposable Filters 2 every month Filters become worn out or get clogged over time, which can potentially expose the patient to airborne particles, bacteria, and mold.
Non-disposable Filters 1 every 6 months Filters become worn out or get clogged over time, which can potentially expose the patient to airborne particles, bacteria, and mold.
Humidifier Water Chamber 1 every 6 months Humidifier water chambers become cloudy, cracked discolored, or even pitted on account of mineral build-up from drinking water and tap water. As material starts deteriorating, cracks can trap bacteria from the moisture.
Mask Frame System 1 every 3 months Frame system comprises mask cushion and frame. Since these tend to be near a patient’s face during treatment, these frames need regular replacement. Since they are not directly in touch with a face, frame system can only be replaced once in three months.
CPAP/BiPAP Machine 1 every 5 years The lifespan of a CPAP machine is usually 5 years and replacement after that. Doctors and other sleep apnea experts recommend patients to have a backup machine, especially if the existing machine is older than two years, so ensure that the patient gets continuous therapy even when one of the machines is undergoing maintenance.