Blog posts from December 2020

Rotech Completes Refinancing

New 5-year $425 million Credit Facility

ORLANDO, Fla.— On December 17, 2020, Rotech Healthcare Inc. (Rotech) entered into a new $425 million amended and restated credit agreement with a diversified group of lenders including Truist Bank, as Administrative Agent, Swingline Lender and Issuing Bank, Citizens Bank, Fifth Third Bank, National Association, and Regions Bank, as Co-Syndication Agents, Truist Securities, Inc., Citizens Bank, Fifth Third Bank, National Association, and Regions Bank, as Joint Lead Arrangers and Joint Bookrunners and Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company, as Documentation Agent (the “Credit Agreement”).

The Credit Agreement is comprised of a $335 million five year term loan, a $15 million revolving credit facility and a $75 million acquisition credit facility. The proceeds of this transaction were used to pay a $100 million special dividend to the Company’s parent as well as provide a $75 million acquisition credit facility to support the Company’s continued strategy to grow through strategic acquisitions. At close, the Company has in excess of $75 million in cash and undrawn revolver.

“I am pleased with the completed refinancing and want to thank Truist, Regions, Fifth Third, Citizens and M&T for leading this effort,” said Tim Pigg, Chief Executive Officer of Rotech. “This new credit agreement provides Rotech with sufficient capital over the next five years to continue our growth strategies as well as to provide a $100 million special dividend to our holding company.”

Mr. Pigg went on to say, “2020 has been a very challenging and successful year for Rotech as we continue to focus on being part of the solution to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. We have focused on assisting hospitals discharge patients as soon as practical to keep as many beds available as possible. As a result, we have continued to grow all our major product lines and improve profitability by controlling costs and leveraging our fixed cost infrastructure. In addition, we continue to enhance our state of the art technology platforms including our new, first in the industry, patient portal and mobile app.” Mr. Pigg went on to say, “the expanded $75 million acquisition credit facility will allow Rotech to continue its acquisition strategy leveraging our clinical programs designed to help patients to remain in their homes and avoid costly inpatient care. We have successfully acquired and integrated over 65 businesses over the last four years.”

Rotech is one of the largest providers of home medical equipment and related products and services (collectively referred to as “HME products and services”) in the United States, with a comprehensive offering of oxygen, other respiratory therapy equipment and services and wound care equipment and supplies. The Company provides HME products and services in 50 states through approximately 300 operating locations.

Lower your blood pressure – in your sleep!

It’s known as the silent killer: High blood pressure. It may not show symptoms, but it can increase the risk of heart disease, heart failure, stroke, and more. Nearly half of adults in the United States have high blood pressure, or hypertension. Only about 1 in 4 has their condition under control (CDC). 

Evidence shows a strong association between Obstructive Sleep Apnea and chronic hypertension. OSA makes patients more likely to develop hypertension, but people who have hypertension are also more likely to have sleep apnea. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or CPAP, is the primary treatment for OSA. 

Using your CPAP as prescribed has many benefits, including better sleep quality, reduced symptoms like daytime sleepiness, and improvement in quality of life. Research has shown that there’s an extra benefit to staying compliant with CPAP therapy: lower blood pressure.

Researchers have found that CPAP use results in a significant improvement in blood pressure. In one study, researchers monitored 55 patients with both OSA and hypertension for 24 months. Researchers recorded how much the patients used their CPAP. Patients wore a device to monitor and record their blood pressure. At the end of the study, patients who used their CPAP as they should had a considerable reduction in their diastolic blood pressure! 

Benefits of CPAP Therapy

CPAP can bring significant benefits to those with sleep apnea, including reducing the risk for illnesses associated with OSA like hypertension and stroke. There’s a catch, though: CPAP only brings those benefits when used regularly.  A 2017 study showed that even three months of compliant CPAP therapy showed a significant reduction in systolic and diastolic pressures. Patients who weren’t fully compliant with therapy saw no significant changes. Successful treatment of sleep apnea had additional cardiovascular benefits. Even patients who originally experienced reduced blood pressure saw those benefits reverse after a week without CPAP therapy. 

If you are having problems using your CPAP as prescribed, there is help available! Talk to your sleep physician or contact your Rotech location for more information.

After Your Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

You want me to wear what?!

What’s it like to get a sleep apnea diagnosis? Beforehand, you’re exhausted all of the time. Your lack of energy means it takes everything you have just to stay awake. Even when you get the opportunity to sleep late, it still feels like you never catch up. The sleepiness does not go away!

After sleep testing, you walk away with a sleep apnea diagnosis. Then you say, “okay, great. Now just get me whatever I need to get good sleep and have a normal, productive day for a change.”

The good news: there’s a fix for all your problems! A high-tech air pump is going to live on your nightstand. It’s going to blow a ridiculous amount of air into your nose and mouth, and this air comes through what looks suspiciously like a space mask and a tangled web of tubing.

Good night? Sweet dreams? Yeah, right!

Two seconds into wearing the mask and having the air blow your cheeks beyond the realm of possibilities, you’re done. There’s no way this solution is going to work for you. It’s just not worth the trouble.

Here’s the thing: it is worth the trouble. Before you know it, you’ll be sleeping soundly and waking with the energy you once had. Sleep Apnea means that your body is not getting the deep sleep you need to really feel rested. When your body tries to get into a deeper sleep, your airways relax – which causes a more significant blockage of oxygen to your body. Your body will naturally force you to wake up and take deep breaths of air.  

You might not fully awaken and may not even realize this is happening! This process prevents you from going into a deeper sleep because your body prioritizes oxygen over rest. Regardless of how many hours you spend in bed, you stay tired because you never get the deep sleep your body truly needs!

The tests you had showed the precise amount of pressure it takes to keep your airway open. When your airway stays open, your body maintains a healthy oxygen level, and you get to sleep. Real sleep. Deep sleep. The kind of sleep where you wake up rested in the morning and have the energy to get through your day.

Yes, CPAP therapy can be uncomfortable at first. You won’t become accustomed to all of this new equipment overnight, but in time, you will. Even a few hours a night is a start – a few hours of deep sleep you weren’t getting before. If you continue to have trouble, call your Rotech location and ask for help!

Hang in there, and keep trying – the short- and long-term benefits of a good night’s sleep are worth it.

10 tricks to getting used to your new CPAP

Getting used to your new CPAP can be a challenge. Strapping a mask to your face with air blowing into your nose isn’t exactly a natural way to sleep! Some patients take to wearing their CPAP device easily, but many more go through a period of acclimation, or adjustment, while using the device. 

CPAP use can be challenging and may require some adjustments to your system. Here are 10 helpful tips to help you adjust to regular CPAP use.

  1. Lower the stakes:  don’t try to get used to your setup when you’re already tired and ready for bed. First, try wearing your CPAP for short periods during the day while you watch TV or read to get used to how it feels.
  2.  Having nasal problems or mouth leaks? Try a heated humidifier. Not only can it decrease those issues, it can increase CPAP compliance
  3. Keep going: We know that early persistence pays off. Research has shown that if you’re using your CPAP regularly after the first week, then you’ll most likely still be using it after 1 year.
  4. Keep it clean: clean your mask, tubing, and headgear regularly and remember to change them on the schedule established by your insurance provider. Typically, every three months for tubing and mask and every six months for the headgear
  5. Feeling the pressure? Many devices have a ramp feature that allows you to start treatment at a lower pressure. As you fall asleep, the pressure will gradually increase to your normal pressure. Many newer devices have a feature that also reduces resistance when you exhale.
  6. Prevent the pull: Is your tubing pulling on your mask? Try looping it over your headboard to reduce the sensation.
  7. Dry, stuffy nose? A nasal saline spray may reduce mild nasal dryness. If congestion continues, talk to your physician. A nasal decongestant or steroid spray may help, but shouldn’t be used without your provider’s guidance.
  8. Make sure your mask is just right: A properly adjusted mask should sit parallel to the face when viewed from the side, not tilted in or out. Overtightening your mask can actually increase leaks and will cause soreness, so make sure yours is snug but not tight to your face.
  9. Keep those filters clean: regularly clean and replace your CPAP’s filters. They help remove dust, pollen, mold, and other airborne particles that cause irritation and allergy symptoms.
  10. Remember, it’s worth it: Using your CPAP will reduce or alleviate the nagging symptoms caused by sleep apnea. Studies have shown that benefits of consistent CPAP use include:
    • Increased daytime attentiveness and energy level
    • Fewer morning headaches
    • Reduced irritability
    • Improved memory
    • Less waking during the night to go to the bathroom
    • Increased ability to exercise
    • Increased effectiveness at home or work
    • Improved overall quality of life

Improve your CPAP therapy: 5 expert tips

Once you’ve got a routine down, CPAP therapy can be pretty easy. But can you improve your CPAP therapy with some minor tweaks? CPAP therapy benefits millions of people who suffer from Sleep Apnea. For some, it’s a difficult adjustment. For others, it quickly becomes second nature. Regardless, CPAP therapy can reduce snoring and eliminate most apneas. As a result, you get the healthy, restorative sleep your body needs!

Whether you’re new to CPAP therapy or have been on a CPAP for years, it never hurts to get some new tricks. Here are a few simple but essential tips to help maintain or improve your CPAP therapy:

  1. Clean your mask! It only takes a few minutes, but cleaning your CPAP mask in the morning when you wake up removes oils that transfer from your face to your mask. 
  2. Clean your tubing! Simply hold the tubing in a u-shape and pour in some warm soapy water. Then, lift and lower each end to get the soapy water moving around the tube’s entire length, thoroughly cleaning the inside.
  3. Use those filters! Don’t use a CPAP machine without the filters. Filters play a crucial role in maintaining the life of your CPAP machine. Most devices have two kinds of filters: foam and ultra-fine. Use them both! Having clean filters means that whenever you take a breath, you’ll be receiving good clean air. 
  4. Order your supplies at the frequency recommended by your insurance guidelines. This will help you get the best therapy possible! While your supplies might look okay after a lot of use, after time, the materials start breaking down — and not always in ways visible to the naked eye. When your supplies begin to break down, your therapy will not be as effective. 
  5. Take charge of your therapy. If it feels like your CPAP therapy isn’t working, or isn’t working like it used to, do something about it! Do your supplies need to be replaced? Have your physical needs changed? 

Tiny tweaks to improve your CPAP therapy can make sure you’re getting the most out of it. Remember, you can always call Sleep Central for advice. We’re here to help you get the most out of your CPAP therapy!