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Trying to get Dr. to prescribe home pulse oximeter
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Trying to get Dr. to prescribe home pulse oximeter

I have Restrictive Lung Disease as part of my systemic autoimmune disorder. As a result, I often feel like I can't get a deep breath. Now I am 9 weeks pregnant, and having a harder time than usual. A peak flow meter doesn't tell anything with my condition, so I really need a pulse oximeter to monitor my oxygen levels. My OB wants my internist to prescribe it, and my internist doesn't think I need it, but is willing to order a 24 hour pulse oximetry in my home to evaluate my need. Anyone else have experience with this? I had a pulmonologist, but he was a serious jerk, and treated me like a hypochondriac. He called the diagnosis I got from my internist and the hospital "ridiculous". Clearly I won't get anywhere with him. I can get one off eBay for about $200, but they look so cheap. The ones that look like they belong in a medical setting cost $400-600, So you can see why I really want my insurance to pay for it. I have Tricare Prime Military health insurance. Anyone with the same insurance know what the chances are of them paying for it? Any advice is appreciated.
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Here are 3 bits of advice:

First, agree to have the 24-hour pulse oximetry in your home.  It's simple, painless and can accurately document if you have a need for oxygen and further oximetry monitoring.

Second, don't buy a cheap oximeter.  There is no guarantee of quality.  Also, don't buy an expensive oximeter until there is proof that you need this monitoring.  Contact a medical supply company that can show you the different features and what will meet your needs the best.  Check directly with your Tricare Prime insurance to know for sure if they will pay and how much they will pay for the oximeter.

Third, consider seeking further evaluation of your autoimmune restrictive lung disease to know if it is treatable and what would be the best treatment.  This is a condition that is evaluated on an outpatient basis at National Jewish Medical and Research Center.
5 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Personally, it wouldn't be something I would get off eBay. I think you can get one for that price at any reputable drugstore.
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Avatar_n_tn
You can get a very good oximeter, without a prescription, at this website:
www.turnermedical.com   On the left side there is a menu...select Finger Oximeters.  The Nonin 9500 is the one that most people with COPD get.  It is very reliable, well made and sturdy, and runs on AAA batteries.  The price, including a case, is $280.99 (w/o the case $264.99) and shipping is free.  I have had mine for about two years and think it's great.  I've only heard of one person being able to get their's paid for by insurance.  The person bought it through her O2 supplier, they submitted a bill to insurance and they paid it...much to everyone's surprise!
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been on oxygen for three years.  (I'm 41now).  I have medicare and tricare and have not been able tom get them to  pay for a pulse ox for me.  The only time is when I had home health and they had a complete moniter set up in my house.  Unfortunately insurance will only cover for a short time.  If you find a way to get one paid, please post  because I am hopeful  to get off of this oxygen some day.
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Avatar_n_tn
Try this website for a reasonable price for a good pulse ox:
http://www.pulseox4less.com/
The Nonin 9500 Fingertip is $239.95 w/free shipping.  This is the pulse ox I use and it's really great.  You will need a prescription from you doctor but that should be no problem. When contacting you insurance ask that this be done through the Medical Director.  I told them I needed it to keep track of my oxygen levels while I exercised.  They did agree to pay half.  I was turned down until it went before the Medical Director.  Also don't disregard Ebay.  I got a very nice oxygen concentrator there.  Very good price and practically new.  I bought my pulse ox there as well.  It was new not used.  I had to fax them the prescription.  That was before I found the website.  I know many people that have been very pleased when doing business with the pulseox4less website.  Hope this helps.
Neva
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