There's a good reason why oxygen concentrators are gaining more and more popularity over the use of oxygen tanks. You no longer have to order oxygen refills, which ends up saving you money in the long run. Oxygen concentrators are called so, because they take in the air around them and concentrate it into a much higher purity of oxygen.
Another reason someone might choose an oxygen concentrator over tanks, is the fact that you can use them during a flight. There are many portable oxygen concentrators that are pre-approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. Even though you need to recharge your portable concentrator's battery, they are still more convenient to most people than tanks.
If you need oxygen therapy, and you want to use an oxygen concentrator, the first thing you'll need to do is talk to your doctor. If he or she thinks one would be right for you, they might help you choose one. Either way, you will need your oxygen dosage prescription to order an oxygen concentrator from a reputable, accredited seller.
Choosing an Oxygen Concentrator
The first thing you need to do, is make sure any oxygen concentrator you are looking at to buy, will adequately cover your oxygen needs. After that, you can consider things like portability, size and weight, sleep mode features, and cost.
For example, let's say you need to use 2 LPM continuous flow overnight. Unless you do a lot of traveling where you will be flying or in a vehicle overnight, you don't necessarily need a portable oxygen concentrator. In this case, a small stationary concentrator like the Respironics SimplyFlo would work.
The Steps for Ordering an Oxygen Concentrator
Once you have your prescription from your doctor, and an idea of what you want in an oxygen concentrator, you can contact a medical equipment retailer. A customer service rep will help guide you in the process of how to submit your prescription. This is easy, as there are usually several different methods – email, fax or mail. If you are able to email or fax, this will speed up the process quite a bit.
Once you've done that, you can figure out how you will be paying. Some sellers offer financing, over a 24 or 36-month span of time, or something like 90 days same as cash. Your customer service rep will help you decide which route to take, if you can't pay for it out of pocket, or if Medicare won't cover it. You can also finance the portion that you have to pay if medicare is covering you.
Medicare treats buying an oxygen concentrator as a rental for the whole time you have it, and it's under a contract between you, the medical supply company, and medicare. This contract lasts for three years, and under it the medical supply company is responsible for the routine maintenance. All of your accessories such as new filters and batteries are covered, as well.