Patient Frequently Asked Questions
Is Oxygen Therapy covered by Medicare?
Medicare (Part B) covers the rental of oxygen equipment and accessories as Durable Medical Equipment (DME) that your doctor prescribes for use in your home. If you own your own equipment, Medicare will help pay for oxygen contents and supplies for the delivery of oxygen when all of these conditions are met:
- Your doctor says you have a severe lung disease or you’re not getting enough oxygen
- Your health might improve with oxygen therapy
- Your arterial blood gas level falls within a certain range
- Other alternative measures have failed
Under the above conditions, Medicare helps pay for:
- Systems for furnishing oxygen
- Containers that store oxygen
- Tubing and related supplies for the delivery of oxygen and oxygen contents
Medicare will only cover your therapy if your doctor and DME supplier are enrolled in Medicare. Doctors and suppliers have to meet strict standards to enroll and stay enrolled in Medicare. If your doctors or suppliers aren’t enrolled, Medicare won’t pay the claims submitted by them.
Visit Medicare.gov to learn more about coverage and requirements.
Why would I need an oximetry test?
Typically your physician will recommend an overnight pulse oximetry test as part of an initial evaluation to help screen for home oxygen therapy or the need to increase your current oxygen therapy for various conditions. A physician may also recommend an overnight oximetry test to determine if you have suspected obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is a condition in which you briefly stop or reduce breathing throughout the night. Without treatment, it can lead to an increase risk of heart disease and stroke. In addition, OSA can cause fragmented sleep resulting in excessive daytime sleepiness.
Why would I need a home sleep test?
If you have a moderate to high suspicion of OSA, based on your physician’s assessment, they may recommend a home sleep test for a diagnosis and treatment plan.
What happens during an overnight oximetry test?
An overnight oximetry test consists of wearing an oxygen sensor on your finger throughout the night that is connected to a small device. The device monitors and records both your the amount of oxygen in your blood (oxygen saturation) and your heart rate as you sleep. Learn more about our overnight oximetry testing process.
What happens during a home sleep test?
In the comfort of your own home, you would wear a small device measuring your breathing. The monitors consists of a nasal cannula (a small tube under your nose), a probe on your finger, and a belt around your chest. While wearing the monitors, the device records your breathing to determine if you may have OSA. Learn more about our home sleep testing process.
What if I need to get out of bed in the middle of the night?
You can take the oximeter or home sleep device with you, or you may unplug the cable and leave it on your bed. If you unplug the oximeter make sure to reattach it when getting in bed and be sure to take note of the time.
Is Vitalistics the testing facility that interprets the test results?
Yes, for home sleep testing, Vitalistics™ completes the interpreted report by one of our board certified sleep physicians. However, for oximetry testing, the raw data summary report is sent to your physician for review.
How quickly will I get my results?
For home sleep testing, once Vitalistics receives the device back it typically takes 2-3 days to analyze and an interpreted report to be returned to your physician. For oximetry testing, once the device is given back to the DME Supplier, the data is downloaded and sent to your physician immediately. You may contact you physician for status on your test results, however, please do not contact Vitalistics for results as we are unable to provide you that information.
What if equipment is not working or something is wrong?
Vitalistics provides a support system offered 24/7 for any issues, questions, or concerns you may have while undergoing a home sleep test or an overnight pulse oximetry test.