Frequently Asked Questions
Sometimes customers who use SuperCare equipment and supplies have questions they need answers to. We have included a list of FAQs (frequently asked questions) for your review. If you do not find your question among these, feel free to contact SuperCare’s representative for assistance.
CPAP / BiPAP | Oxygen | Power Wheelchairs | Enteral Feeding | Nebulizer Therapy | Insurance and Copay | Home Sleep Testing | Wireless
CPAP / BiPAP
Do I need to use my CPAP or BiPAP every time I go to sleep?
Your physician has ordered this therapy for your benefit, and you should use it as prescribed. CPAP/BiPAP should be used every time you go to sleep (even naps) for maximum benefit. In the beginning you may feel uncomfortable using it all night. Try getting used to it by using it a few hours more each night until you are able to use it all night long. You should also take your CPAP/BiPAP when you travel. When traveling, do not check your unit as baggage. Bring it as a carry-on item. Make sure your destination has a suitable power source for you to plug your unit into.
How often should I clean my mask? When should it be replaced?
Every day wash the mask or pillows with a soft cloth. Gently wash with a solution of warm water and a mild, clear liquid detergent. Rinse thoroughly, and allow mask or pillows to air dry. On an as-needed basis wash your headgear and/or chinstrap according to instructions in SuperCare’s patient handbook.
Based on your insurance coverage, your mask should be replaced every 3 - 6 months.
What can I do to change the pressure settings?
The pressure settings are set by SuperCare according to your doctor’s order. You should not change the settings. It may take you up to a month to adjust to your CPAP or BiPAP. Try to relax when using the CPAP or BiPAP. Take slow, deep breaths through your nose with your mouth closed. If you still have trouble, contact your physician or your SuperCare respiratory therapist.
I'm using CPAP or BiPAP but I'm not sure if it's helping. What should I do?
It may take you up to four weeks to adjust to your CPAP or BiPAP. Try to relax when using the system. Take slow, deep breaths through your nose with your mouth closed. If you still have trouble, contact your physician or your SuperCare respiratory therapist.
My mask sometimes leaks air. Other times, it just feels uncomfortable. What can I do to fix these problems?
Your CPAP or BiPAP machine should be turned on to its full pressure before the mask is applied. For optimum fit, position the straps on your headgear while lying down. Over tightening the headgear can worsen mask leaks and cause redness or sores on the skin. A small leak at the sides and/or bottom of the mask is acceptable, but air leaking at the top of the mask can cause sore or dry eyes.
My throat and nose feel dry when I use my CPAP/BiPAP. Is there anything I can get that will help?
You may need to use a humidifier with your CPAP or BiPAP. If you are already using one, an over-the-counter saline nasal spray can be used to ease excessive dryness in the nose and throat. If you have tried saline spray but didn't find it helpful, call your SuperCare respiratory therapist to discuss other options.
My humidifier is not working
Humidifier plate is not heating up.
Turn CPAP and humidifier on. Touch humidifier plate, if it remains cold and does not heat up, you need to replace the humidifier.
My mask is leaving a mark/sore on the bridge of my nose
Mask is too tight or skin is sensitive to mask.
We have a product called “Sleep Comfort Care Pad” that works by creating a barrier between your skin and the mask.
My mask is just not comfortable, I cannot stand it.
Was the patient fitted for the mask? Was it the mask prescribed by the physician?
Make appointment for the patient to come into one of our locations with all their equipment so we can troubleshoot the problem for them.
My mask is leaking
Headgear needs adjusting.
Adjust straps; forehead and lower straps pull just until leaking stops. It may also be time to change your mask.
I wake up with a gurgling sound in the tubing
Possible Cause #1: Humidifier needs adjusting. This is called “rainout”. The difference between the temperature in your room and the temperature of the air coming out of the humidifier causes “condensation” or “rainout” in the tubing.
Solution #1: Turn the humidifier down. The humidifier has a wide range of temperature settings for your comfort.
Possible Cause #2: Overfilling humidifier.
Solution #2: Just fill to water line.
I wake up with dry mouth
Possible Cause # 1: Humidifier needs adjusting.
Solution #1: The purpose of the humidifier is to add more moisture to the air that comes out of your CPAP. This is an adjustable feature that you can control by simply increasing or decreasing the number on your humidifier.
Possible Cause #2: If patient is a mouth breather and NOT using a FULL FACE mask.
Solution #2: Patient may need to switch from nasal pillows or nasal mask to “FULL FACE MASK” or may try “Chinstrap”.
It feels like too much air, can't get used to it.
Possble Cause #1: Maximize the ramp feature.
Solution #1: Depending on the model, patient can adjust the ramp. ResMed patient can adjust. Respironics is set by the clinician.
Possible Cause #2: Pressure too high.
Solution #2: Your pressure was determined by your sleep study. It’s really important to allow your body enough time to adjust to this pressure setting. However, if patient still has issues, an RT can call the physician for a setting change.
Will I have to use a CPAP or BiPAP the rest of my life?
A CPAP (or BiPAP) device is not a cure, but therapy to relieve systems. As long as your condition remains unchanged, you will most likely need to continue using your CPAP. Your physician is the best person to consult with to answer this question.
It is not convenient, I just do not like it.
You are resistant to the fact that they have sleep apnea.
Yes, it is inconvenient, however, every time you stop breathing throughout the night your oxygen level drops, which can affect your heart. Refer to “Apnea Fast Facts”.
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How long will I have to be on oxygen?
Oxygen is prescribed for many diagnoses. Some patients, such as those who have been found to have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), will require oxygen for the rest of their lives. Your doctor is the final authority on how long you will need the therapy.
Is oxygen addictive?
No, oxygen is not addictive.
Is my being on oxygen dangerous?
When used properly, oxygen is not dangerous. Oxygen is not flammable, but it does support combustion so it's very important to keep it away from sparks or open flames. As long as you follow the safety rules outlined in your set-up manual, your oxygen is safe.
Why do I need to post oxygen-warning signs?
Smoking and oxygen are a dangerous combination. Posting the signs informs anyone entering your home that oxygen is being used in your home and that they cannot smoke. In addition, displaying the signs in prominent locations assists SuperCare delivery personnel in finding your home and it informs the fire department that oxygen is being stored in your residence.
How much will oxygen therapy cost me?
That depends on your insurance. Medicare covers 80 percent of the Medicare allowable, as long as the oxygen is deemed medically necessary by your doctor. Insurance companies differ on the amount of coverage. Your monthly rental cost should be on your work order. If it isn't, call SuperCare.
Why did my portable liquid oxygen unit freeze to my stationary unit?
Condensation or dirt on either unit will cause them to freeze together. Always remember to wipe the inside and outside of each connection with a lint-free cloth before filling.
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What is the difference between a power chair and a scooter?
A power chair is an excellent choice for indoor use. It fits almost anywhere and turns on a dime. The scooter has a handlebar design; and, while it is slightly larger than a power chair, it is perfect for use outside the home. Your doctor will determine if a power chair or scooter is best for you.
What portion of the cost will my insurance company pay?
If you qualify, Medicare may cover up to 80% of the cost of your power chair. Your supplemental insurance may pay the remaining 20%. In most cases, our customers pay little to nothing for their power chairs. This also depends on the type of policy you have and whether or not we are listed as providers for this insurance company.
Do I qualify?
The best way to find out whether you qualify for a power chair or scooter at little to no cost to you is to call and talk to one of our representatives. It's a free, no-pressure, no-obligation call that lets you to learn more about working with SuperCare and find out whether power mobility is right for you. There is no cost or obligation, so call now!
What is required of my doctor?
If you are eligible for reimbursement through Medicare or other insurance, your doctor must determine that you have a medical need for power mobility equipment, and complete paperwork. SuperCare will handle all of the paperwork for you and will contact your doctor to coordinate this.
How long does it take to get my new power chair or scooter?
Once you are approved, you will typically receive your power chair or scooter within two weeks.
How do I charge the battery?
Each power chair has a cord for recharging. Simply plug your power chair into a regular 3-prong electrical socket at night, and it will be ready to go in the morning. It is recommended that the power chair be turned off before charging.
How long do the batteries last?
It varies from model to model, but typically a full charge will last about 8 hours. Batteries will wear out after about one year and will need to be replaced. When your batteries will not hold a charge, it is time to replace them. The insurance that initially paid for your power chair will pay for replacement batteries once each year.
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How much enteral nutrition formula do I take each day?
Your physician will have prescribed the number of calories per day or the number mls of nutrition per hour (or per day) you are to receive. These amounts are determined based on your body weight and whether there is a need to gain, lose or maintain current weight. NEVER change the amount of nutrition or the rate of feeding without consulting your physician and having them change your prescription. Please notify SuperCare immediately of any changes so we can adjust the quantity of product we deliver to you each month.
Will the nutrition formula go bad?
You should store unopened containers in a cool, dry location. If you do not use all the formula in an opened container, cover and store the remainder in the refrigerator. If the opened formula is unused within 24 hours, it should be discarded unless instructed otherwise by your physician or a member of your healthcare team. Formula has an expiration date so use older stock first. Always check to make sure formula is used before the expiration date, much like you do with milk.
How often do I change the administration kit (bag, tubing, etc)?
Most insurance will allow one kit per day. There is no need to change the kit if formula is administered several times per day, unless it becomes contaminated or damaged. Every eight hours the bag should be disconnected and flushed with hot water to clear the bag of nutrition. You should never fill the bag with more nutrition than will be used in an 8 hour period. (Pre-filled flexible bags do NOT need to be flushed since they are sealed to prevent contamination, but they do need to be changed every 24 hours or as instructed.)
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How do I store my medication?
Keep your medication in the refrigerator. Do not use the medication if it becomes discolored or clouded. Check the expiration date and do not use expired medication.
How much medication do I use and how often do I take a treatment?
The number and frequency of treatments as well as the medication dosage must be exactly as ordered by your physician. It is important to follow your doctor’s orders regarding the time between treatments as well. If you are unsure of what the prescription says, you may contact your physician or SuperCare. We will read and explain the doctor’s order to you.
Is there any maintenance of the machine or the plastic medication container?
The machine itself needs no maintenance other than an occasional wiping with a slightly damp cloth. Always unplug the unit before doing this. To avoid infection or re-infection, the nebulizer (small medication holder with tubing) should be cleaned daily as instructed in SuperCare’s patient handbook. The nebulizer should be replaced periodically according to instructions.
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Insurance and Copay
How do I know if my insurance covers something I am getting from SuperCare?
Most insurance companies will cover authorized services if deemed medically necessary. SuperCare’s representative can help you with this. However, calling your health insurance company is the best way of getting this information.
What if I can't afford the copay?
SuperCare’s representative can help you work out a payment schedule. In extreme cases, other arrangement may be made.
How do I know how much the copay will be?
Most insurances do charge a copay and a yearly deductable. SuperCare’s representative can estimate this for you, but calling your health insurance company is best and most accurate way of getting this information. Their contact information is on the back of your insurance card.
I've been renting my equipment for a long time. Will it ever convert to purchase?
Many types of equipment are specified as rent-to-own by your insurance. This term is typically 13 to 15 months of continuous rental, depending on your specific insurance plan. SuperCare’s representative can tell you how many remaining rental months are left on your equipment before title transfers to you.
What will happen if I lose or damage my equipment?
Many insurances will authorize a replacement item if the equipment is stolen and a police report is filed. If the loss or damage is deemed to be the result of negligence on your part, you will be financially responsible for replacing the item in most cases.
Can I private pay for things my insurance will not cover?
Yes. SuperCare has online shopping where you can purchase anything in the catalog with your credit card. These items will be shipped to you. We also have a showroom at our City of Industry location where you may purchase most items over the counter. However, some items by law require a prescription before we may dispense them. Examples of items that require a prescription are oxygen equipment and indwelling catheters.
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Home Sleep Testing
Is the Home Sleep Test accurate?
Yes, although at least 2 hours of recording time is needed for an accurate interpretation.
What is home sleep test (HST)?
A home sleep study is a modified sleep study that is performed in your home with a portable monitor. HST is used only to look for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
What is the difference between a home sleep test and a sleep test performed in a Sleep Lab?
A home sleep test is performed in your home versus at a sleep lab. The portable monitoring device measures oxygen saturation, heart rate, air flow and effort. It will also record snoring and position.
A sleep test that is performed in a sleep lab will measure the above, but will additionally measure brain waves, sleep time and leg movements.
When will my doctor receive my results?
It usually takes up to one week for your doctor to receive your formal report. Please schedule a follow-up visit with your Physician after that time to discuss the findings and recommendations for treatment. If you have seen one of our specialists, we will contact you as soon as possible to discuss treatment options.
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How do I know if the modem is transmitting data?
You will receive calls periodically from the Respiratory Department monitoring your sleep data. If there is an issue with transmission of your data a Sleep Coach will assist in troubleshooting.
Note: Device must be plugged in even when device is not in use in order to successfully transmit data.
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