Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Provent: Can we now travel without that sleep apnea mask?

Today's NYT tells us we might have an alternative to lugging that heavy, 19th century looking night-breathing contraction called a CPAP where ever we go. Provent is a new device/product approved in 2008 by the Food and Drug Administration and it simply covers the nostrils and does its job. One uses a new patch every night.
Information about Provent spreads mostly by word of mouth. Its manufacturer, Ventus Medical, says it has shipped one million of the devices in the past twelve months.
So why hadn't I heard about it? Is it because I am a Medicare patient and Medicare doesn't cover this new portable device? So my doctor never mentions it as a possibility? I understand if one tries and likes the samples, then a whole new sleep test is required for a full prescription. That's costly. How often will Medicare pay for a night in the sleep lab? Probably only once every five years? I am getting my ten samples this Friday and then will find out who pays for a sleep test.
A thirty day supply of these one-night nose patches costs just under $100. Apparently, many give up the idea because of cost. Others rejoice and use the patches when travelling. Imagine not having to lug that CPAP machine to Paris, to Bonaire, to Istanbul.
It's about time, a new product came on the market and it is high time I heard about it. God, I hate that six foot hose in my bed every night and the face mask that feels like a horse's bit and bridle.

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