A statement to patients
The purpose of ResMed's Internet Advertising and Selling Policies is to promote and support a high level of patient service and care now and in the future. Sleep apnea treatment is complex and in order to be successful, patients need help and support from a trained professional. The price you pay for medical equipment includes not only the cost of the products, but also the cost of the medical care you receive. Your therapy is an important part of your life. It helps you to improve your health and feel better. For those times when you need help or support from medical professionals, we want to be sure you can get that from your provider.
As you may know, sleep apnea can be life-threatening. People with sleep apnea have higher chances of serious health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and obesity. In addition, sleep apnea causes symptoms like tiredness and headaches, to name a few. Treating sleep apnea can improve these dangerous health problems and help people get relief from their symptoms. However, people must use their therapy regularly in order to receive the benefits.
Helping people get used to their therapy and use their equipment properly is one of the biggest challenges for equipment providers. Studies have shown that the more education and help patients receive from their healthcare providers, the better they will do with therapy.1-3 Additionally, studies have also shown that when patients are successful with their therapy, their long-term healthcare costs are about 50% lower overall.4
Educating patients and helping them get used to therapy can be time-consuming and costly for medical equipment dealers. For dealers to care for their patients properly, they need to have sufficient resources. Charging a minimum price for the equipment they sell helps ensure they have enough resources to support their patients. By giving their patients quality care, dealers are ultimately helping patients save money on their healthcare costs in the long run.
We are aware that the quality of patient care varies from dealer to dealer. In the future, we are concerned that some dealers may sacrifice patient care in order to cut costs. The risks are especially high with Internet dealers, as the Internet can allow dealers to be anonymous and shield them from patient complaints. For example, we have already been contacted by patients who have ordered equipment online and received damaged products but had no one to call to correct the problem. We have also heard from patients who bought equipment online but were not told how to use it. We want to do what we can to protect patients from these situations, and our Internet policies were designed for that purpose.
If you are not satisfied with the service and care you have received from your equipment dealer, we urge you to talk to your doctor and/or sleep lab. Your doctor and/or sleep lab can be an important check and balance on the service your dealer provides. In addition, if a dealer is giving poor patient service, your doctor should know in case they have other patients who might also be affected.
The decision to impose Internet policies is a choice we made in order to help protect patients now and in the future. As we have often said, we are in the business of helping people and saving lives or, at least, preventing premature deaths. In the case of our Internet policies, our goal is to promote and support high standards of patient care well into the future.