Author: Rotech Healthcare

CPAP Compliance: What New Patients Need to Know

Sleep apnea can be a disruptive and even life-threatening condition. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to a plethora of health complications. When your body doesn’t get enough oxygen during sleep due to repeated airway blockages, it can cause long-term damage. People with untreated sleep apnea are at an increased risk for hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, chronic fatigue and mood disturbances. They’re also at higher risk for more severe outcomes like stroke or sudden cardiac death. Interrupted sleep often leads to daytime sleepiness, which can contribute to accidents on the road or at work, cognitive difficulties, and reduced quality of life.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy offers a lifeline for sleep apnea patients. It delivers a steady stream of air to keep the airway open during sleep. Patients often experience an immediate improvement in sleep quality, daytime alertness, and overall well-being. Over the long term, consistent PAP therapy can reduce many risks of untreated sleep apnea. 

The key is not just having the machine but using it consistently. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is one of the most effective treatments for Obstructive Sleep Apnea. However, for the treatment to be successful, CPAP compliance is crucial. But what exactly does CPAP compliance mean, and why is it so important? 

Understanding CPAP Compliance

CPAP compliance refers to the consistent and correct use of your CPAP machine. To make the therapy effective, patients must use the device at the prescribed settings every night. Both Medicare and most insurance plans have a compliance standard that patients must meet, especially during the initial phase of treatment.

To be considered compliant, here’s what you should do:

Regular Usage: Use your device for a minimum of 4 hours every night and ensure this happens for at least 70% of the nights every month.

Follow-up: Schedule and attend a follow-up appointment with your doctor between the 31st and 90th day of your treatment. During this visit, your physician will take a look at your CPAP use and ensure you benefit from the therapy.

Quick Tip! Most CPAP problems have solutions! If you’re struggling to use your CPAP machine consistently, communicate any issues to a sleep coach or your medical provider so they can be addressed!

Why Compliance Matters

With consistent use, you’ll avoid the recurrence of sleep apnea symptoms and could also avoid complications with your insurance coverage.

Insurance companies want to make sure you’re using the device and it’s effectively treating your sleep apnea before they’ll pay for the treatment or for additional supplies.

If you don’t meet your plan’s compliance guidelines, you might have to restart the entire process of treating your sleep apnea, or even pay for the device yourself. That means additional doctor’s visits, completing another sleep study, having your doctor prescribe PAP therapy all over again, and additional cost to you.

How Rotech’s SleepWELL™ Program Helps

Understanding and maintaining compliance can seem daunting. This is where Rotech’s SleepWELL™ Program comes into the picture. We guide you every step of the way, working with you and your physician to ensure you’re positioned for success.

State-of-the-Art Technology: With SleepWELL™, you’re assured of cutting-edge technology and equipment. Each CPAP machine from Rotech is equipped with a modem (cellular or Wi-Fi) that meticulously tracks and records your usage. This data can be conveniently downloaded and shared with your doctor, simplifying compliance documentation. Depending on your machine, an app may also be available to see your sleep data and receive instant feedback and coaching.

Customized Support: As a SleepWELL™ patient, you’ll receive tailored support from our specialists. The critical first 90 days of treatment are when most patients need assistance, and that’s when our Clinical Compliance Tracking Team will be most actively involved, monitoring your progress and helping you meet compliance standards.

CPAP compliance is more than a guideline or a bar for you to clear; it ensures effective sleep apnea treatment. With a robust support system like Rotech’s SleepWELL™ Program, you’re equipped with the best tools and a dedicated team ensuring you get the restful night’s sleep you deserve. Consistency is key, and with the right support, healthier sleep is no longer just a dream!

Summer Strategies for COPD Patients: Maximizing Fun and Minimizing Exacerbations

The sun is out, the weather is warm, and it’s time to get outdoors to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. However, the summer months can present unique challenges for individuals with chronic lung diseases like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Coping with the heat, humidity, and potential triggers can be overwhelming. Still, with proper planning, you can make the most of the season while prioritizing your respiratory health. Here are nine tips to help you have a safe, healthy, and fun summer.

Stay Hydrated:

Hot weather can lead to dehydration. When your body is dehydrated, your airways become dry and inflamed, and your body can create more mucus, putting you at risk for an exacerbation. Make it a habit to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, preferably water, to keep your body well-hydrated. Limit or avoid beverages containing caffeine or alcohol, which can contribute to dehydration.

Plan Outdoor Activities Wisely:

Enjoying the outdoors is one of the best parts of summer. Plan your activities during the cooler parts of the day, typically early morning or evening. Avoid going out during the hottest hours, usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when high temperatures and increased pollution levels can strain your lungs. Try to find shaded areas or carry an umbrella to shield yourself from direct sunlight.

Dress Appropriately:

Choose lightweight, loose-fitting clothing made from breathable fabrics like cotton or linen. These materials allow air circulation, preventing excessive perspiration and discomfort. Additionally, wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from harmful UV rays.

Manage Indoor Environments:

Ensure your indoor environment is comfortable and conducive to easy breathing. Keep your living space well-ventilated, use air conditioning or fans to maintain a cool temperature, and consider using air purifiers to minimize indoor pollutants. Avoid exposure to strong chemical odors or irritants, such as paint or cleaning products, which can trigger respiratory symptoms.

Stay Informed about Air Quality:

Keep track of the air quality index (AQI) in your area, as high pollution levels can worsen COPD symptoms. Several smartphone applications and websites provide real-time air quality information. If the AQI is poor, consider adjusting your plans or staying indoors to reduce exposure.

Carry Medications and Emergency Contacts:

Always carry your prescribed medications with you, including inhalers and any additional medications recommended by your healthcare provider. Ensure you have an emergency contact list, including your healthcare professional’s phone number, the number of your local Rotech office, and local emergency services.

Seek Shade and Take Breaks:

During outdoor activities, take regular breaks to rest and seek shade. Overexertion and excessive heat can strain your respiratory system. Listen to your body and pace yourself accordingly!

Avoid Smoke and Other Triggers:

Smoke, including smoke from grills, barbecues, or fireworks, can worsen COPD symptoms. Stay away from areas where smoking is permitted, and avoid exposure to secondhand smoke. Similarly, be cautious around strong fragrances, chemicals, and other known triggers that can irritate your lungs.

Prioritize Self-Care:

Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s allowing you to be the best version of yourself! Prioritize self-care to maintain your overall well-being. Get adequate rest, eat a healthy diet, and find things you enjoy that promote relaxation and reduce stress.

Traveling with your CPAP: the Ultimate Guide

Once you’re used to your CPAP, you don’t want to sleep without it — no matter where you might be. Going without your sleep apnea treatment will bring back the snoring, headaches, and daytime exhaustion that caused you to seek therapy for sleep apnea in the first place! Luckily, there are plenty of tips and tricks to help make your next trip as smooth as possible. Read on for everything you need to know about traveling with your CPAP machine.

How do I pack my CPAP for travel?

Carry your CPAP with you! Most CPAP devices come with a travel bag, which is the best way to pack your CPAP machine and equipment. When you pack up your CPAP, make sure you’ve thoroughly emptied and dried out your humidifier water chamber and included your power cord.

Do not check your CPAP as baggage or place it in your checked luggage. Not only can baggage handling be rough on a device, but if your luggage is lost, so is your CPAP! Cruise ships and domestic passenger trains also ask that you carry on your CPAP and keep it with you.

The Air Carrier Access Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in air travel. It applies to all flights by U.S. airlines and flights to or from the U.S. by foreign airlines. Your CPAP is an assistive device, which means you can bring it on an airplane and stow it in an overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you. Assistive devices do not count towards the airline’s baggage limit if the bag does not contain additional personal items. Learn more about air travel with an assistive device and your rights in Air Travel with an Assistive Device, from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Make sure your device is packed separately from your other baggage items, and the only things packed with it are necessary accessories. Some airlines (especially budget carriers that typically charge for carry-ons) may check to verify that your assistive device is the only thing in its bag.

Additionally, you’ll want to bring a copy of your prescription. Having your prescription with you can be vital if you get to your destination and something breaks or you need a crucial accessory. Being prepared with your prescription will help you be able to get any replacement CPAP equipment pieces.

How do I get through airport security with my CPAP?

All travelers are required to undergo screening at the TSA checkpoint. CPAPs, Bi-level or BiPAP machines, and APAPs must be removed from their carrying case and put through the X-ray machine. Your tubing, power cord, and masks can stay in the case. If you’d like, you can provide a clear plastic bag to put your CPAP device in for x-ray screening.

While most screening agents are very familiar with CPAPs, you still might find it convenient to add a tag that says MEDICAL DEVICE to your bag.

If a TSA agent requests to inspect your machine or swab it for explosives, you have the right to request that they change to new gloves. You may also ask inspectors to clean the surface they will use to inspect your CPAP.

Do I have to take out my CPAP if I have TSA Precheck?

Generally, travelers do not need to remove CPAPs from carry-on bags in TSA PreCheck lanes. However, checkpoint officers will provide guidance if they need to perform additional screening on your device.

If the agent asks you to remove your machine, you’ll need to send it through the scanner on its own. Additionally, if TSA PreCheck lines are unavailable, you must go through the standard security screening.

Do I have to tell the airline about your CPAP machine?

If you plan on using your CPAP on board, you most likely need to notify your airline at least 48 hours before your flight. There may also be seating restrictions based on FAA rules. In addition, in-seat electrical power is not always available on every aircraft or in every seat. You may need to bring external batteries with you to power your device. Check with your carrier well before your trip to find their specific regulations.

Can I cruise with my CPAP?

Yes! Cruise lines are very familiar with CPAP users. Major lines have disability departments that can assist you with whatever you need. Most cruise lines will provide you with an extension cord and distilled water. Many (including Royal CaribbeanCelebrityNorwegian, and Disney) allow you to request these accommodations when you book or before your departure date. Check with your cruise line to confirm their policies and procedures. Many cruisers like to bring a roll of gaffer tape (available from retailers like Amazon or Home Depot) to tape down their extension cord in their cabin and reduce the likelihood of tripping over it!

Can I travel with water for my CPAP humidifier?

You can bring water, but if you’re carrying it on with your CPAP device, it must be in a sealed container of 3.4 ounces or less and fit in a quart-sized baggie.

You should be able to purchase distilled water at most destinations. Suppose you’re not planning on driving or stopping at a grocery store or pharmacy. In that case, delivery services like Instacart, Shipt, Postmates, and Doordash will often deliver distilled water and anything else you need (fees and upcharges may vary). 

If you need additional water for your CPAP humidifier, you can also pack it in your checked luggage. Some larger resorts may also have distilled water available for purchase or use. Housekeeping departments often use it for irons and steamers — it never hurts to ask!

How do I clean my CPAP while traveling?

Even away from home, cleaning your CPAP mask and accessories is crucial. Keeping your mask and accessories clean is essential for effective sleep therapy!

If you have access to a bathroom at your destination, you’re good to go! Clean your equipment the same way you do at home, with warm water and mild, non-fragrant soap. If you have room, hang your tubing over a towel rack or shower rod to dry.

Many products are available to make CPAP equipment cleaning easier on the go. Wipes, sprays, and mask and accessory sanitizers can all help ensure your equipment is squeaky clean no matter where you are.

What other travel accessories do I need?

Make sure you pack your machine’s power cord, and you may also want an extension cord. Not all outlets are convenient, so this can help make sure you can sleep well — in regards to your CPAP — in any hotel room, rental home, or relative’s house. (We can’t guarantee the comfort of Aunt Mildred’s guest room bed, but at least you’ll be able to sleep healthfully!)

Traveling internationally? Your CPAP machine should have a label that tells you the acceptable power inputs. Check the voltage and the hertz at your destination to ensure they’re compatible with your machine! While most modern CPAP machines are dual voltage, you’ll still need a country-specific adapter.

It’s also a good idea to keep a CPAP battery like the Portable Outlet or another backup power on hand when you travel, whether for use in-flight or at your destination.

Bon Voyage!

Wherever your journeys bring you, we hope this guide helps you travel confidently with your CPAP!

COPD: Strategies for a Happy Holiday

How do you have happy holidays when you’re dealing with COPD? For many people with COPD or other chronic lung diseases, it can seem difficult to make things merry during this time of year. Research shows that COPD exacerbations tend to increase during the holiday season1. We’ll go over some important COPD holiday strategies to help make sure your holidays are happy and healthy.

Take Care of Yourself

If you use supplemental oxygen or take medications, make sure you have an adequate supply. Remember that holiday closures and inclement weather may make getting additional tanks of oxygen or a trip to the pharmacy challenging, and travel plans can unexpectedly change. Plan ahead if you can!

Wash your hands frequently: before and after eating, when using the restroom, and when touching high-contact surfaces like door handles. Talk to your physician and make sure you’re up-to-date on any doctor-recommended vaccinations, including your flu shot!

Dress for the weather

Cold weather and COPD aren’t a good mix. Extremely cold temperatures can narrow airways, leading to a cascade of events that might increase difficulty breathing, mucus production, coughing, and more2. If outdoor activities are a must, schedule them for warmer times of the day. Continue to monitor air quality before you head outside. While family members may vacation during the holidays, air pollution doesn’t.

Wearing a scarf or mask on your face can help warm up air before you breathe it into your lungs. Stay warm, dress for the weather, and don’t spend time outside if temperatures are low.

Enjoy, but don’t overindulge

Turkey, ham, prime rib, and all those side dishes, beloved holiday desserts and cookies! While an occasional treat or indulgence is fine, eating mostly healthy foods in small portions will help keep your body healthy and happy. Avoid gas-producing foods that might contribute to a bloated feeling and make breathing uncomfortable. If your COPD makes it hard to eat a full meal, dine slowly; take small bites and chew your food thoroughly. Eat more frequent, smaller meals instead of two or three large ones during the day.

If you’ve been prescribed continuous oxygen therapy, make sure you wear your cannula while eating. Eating and digestion both require energy, and your body needs oxygen for that!

Get enough rest

It’s tempting to stay up later than normal or push yourself to attend just one more gathering, but not getting enough sleep or allowing yourself to overdo it can leave you run down and even more susceptible to illness or exacerbations. Make sure you’re getting enough rest, and if you feel fatigued or overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to leave an activity or event.

Watch for exacerbation triggers

From baking gingerbread to newly cut Christmas trees, or maybe the freshly-bleached scent of a well-scrubbed house, the holidays bring with them a lot of scents. Even when they’re pleasant, scents can make you cough, wheeze, have more shortness of breath than usual, and increase COPD exacerbations. Know how strong scents affect you, and have a plan to deal with them if necessary.

Wood smoke from stoves and fireplaces can also cause you to cough and have trouble breathing. Burning wrapping paper can release toxic chemicals into the air. If you want a fire lit for some atmosphere, an alternative might be an electronic fireplace, a display of unscented candles, or maybe even a yule log video on television.

Having Happy Holidays with COPD

While living with COPD may require you to make some changes to your holidays, staying healthy and continuing to manage your condition is worth it so there are many more holiday seasons to come! Use these simple strategies to maximize your lung health, make new memories and enjoy the holiday season!

[1]: Johnston NW, McIvor A, Lambert K, et al. The Christmas season as a risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbations. Can Respir J. 2010;17(6):275-281. doi:10.1155/2010/460532

[2] D’Amato, M., Molino, A., Calabrese, G. et al. The impact of cold on the respiratory tract and its consequences to respiratory health. Clin Transl Allergy 8, 20 (2018).

Philips Respironics Device Recall

Philips Respironics announced a voluntary recall for certain CPAP, BiLevel PAP and Ventilator Devices manufactured prior to April 21, 2021.

This recall is due to two issues related to the polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam used in these devices.

Philips is notifying customers and users of affected devices that they will replace the current sound abatement foam with a new material that is not affected by this issue. Affected devices currently will be either replaced with a new or refurbished unit that incorporates the new material, or repaired to replace the sound abatement foam in customer units.

For more information on the Recall Notice, a complete list of impacted products, and more information, visit .

Rotech is committed to providing safe CPAP/BiPAP and Ventilator equipment for all patients.

4 Reasons COPD Patients Don’t Eat Enough Food

Many COPD patients don’t eat enough, which can lead to unintentional weight loss. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder, or COPD, makes it a struggle to breathe. That struggle burns a lot of calories. In fact, COPD patients can use up to 40% more energy per day than someone without COPD because of the increased effort it takes to breathe.

Patients who are underweight have an increased risk for infection, hospitalization, and other problems. Solving issues with breathing, energy levels, and your appetite can take a little bit of creative thinking and flexibility! Here are a few reasons we frequently hear COPD patients aren’t eating enough:

“I feel bloated and can’t breathe well after a meal.”

Try eating several small meals instead of two or three large meals during the day. Healthy, hearty snacks that include both protein and carbohydrates can also be helpful! Avoid gas-producing foods that might contribute to a bloated feeling, like beans, carbonated drinks, and sugar alcohols like xylitol or sorbitol used to replace sugar in sugar-free foods.

“I don’t have the breath or energy to cook well.”

Prepare nutritious foods that require less energy to make like breakfast for dinner, hearty snack plates, and slow-cooker meals. Fix larger portions, and freeze some (safely!) to warm up later. Convenience foods that are pre-cooked or ready-to-eat can provide good alternatives, but keep an eye on sodium levels if you’re on a salt-restricted diet. Don’t cook? Meals on Wheels can be a great inexpensive option!

“I don’t have any appetite.”

Some medications (e.g. theophylline) can upset your stomach, but the most common cause is swallowing mucus. If you cough up mucus or have sinus drainage, avoid swallowing the mucus as much as possible.

Scheduling and planning meals and snacks and eating something, even if you don’t necessarily feel like it, can help keep you on track.

“I just can’t eat that much!”

If you can’t eat a lot, focus on nutrient-dense foods that are higher in calories. Adding a dish of ice cream as an end-of-day treat can help, too! High-calorie supplement drinks can be useful when you’re unable to eat well. Special formulations for people with breathing problems are available, but talk with your doctor or dietitian for recommendations. Eating a good meal is always best, but a high-calorie, vitamin-rich drink can serve as a substitute in a pinch.

Proper nutrition is especially important for patients with breathing problems. When COPD patients don’t eat enough and become underweight, it can lead to more issues and health complications. Always talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian before making changes to your diet.

Looking for more information about living well with COPD? See our COPD Resources page!

Keeping your CPAP clean: What you need to know

Keeping your CPAP equipment clean is vital for staying healthy and getting the most out of your CPAP therapy. But it can be tough to figure out which piece of CPAP equipment needs cleaning, how to clean it, and how often! Here’s a guide to keeping your CPAP equipment in tip-top shape.

Every Day:

Nasal Mask, Full Face Mask, and Tubing

If you don’t clean your CPAP mask, then oils from your face can build up and degrade the materials in your mask. This can result in a less effective seal. A dirty mask can also cause skin irritation or even contribute to skin breakouts. You’ll need to clean both the cushion and frame each day.

  • Wash in warm water with mild detergent
  • Rinse thoroughly under cold running water
  • Shake off excess water
  • Allow to air dry on a paper towel.
  • Cover parts with another paper towel to help keep dust off

If you’re pressed for time, specially designed CPAP Mask wipes can help you safely and gently clean and maintain your mask without giving it a full daily wash. Keep in mind that they’re only for occasional use; you’ll still need to wash your mask regularly to keep it in optimal condition.

Some people find it convenient and less messy to clean their tubing in the shower or bath, then hang it over the bar to dry!

Every 3 Days:


Empty any extra water in your humidifier every morning, and refill it with clean, distilled water right before bed. Letting water sit in your humidifier all day can lead to bacteria or mold growth.

  • Wash in warm water with mild detergent
  • Rinse thoroughly under cold running water
  • Shake off excess water
  • Soak humidifier for 30 minutes in a solution of 1 part white vinegar and 3 parts water
  • Rinse thoroughly under cold running water
  • Shake off excess water
  • Allow to air dry on a paper towel and cover with another paper towel to keep dust off
  • Dispose of white vinegar and water

Every Week:

Headgear or chinstrap

  • Machine or hand wash in mild detergent if soiled
  • Lay flat and allow to air dry

Reusable filter

  • Wash in warm soapy water
  • Rinse well using cold running water
  • Gently squeeze out excess water
  • Let the filter dry completely before reinstalling

Keeping your CPAP equipment clean can seem overwhelming at first, but soon it’ll be a simple part of your regular morning routine! Remember, even clean and well-cared for CPAP equipment doesn’t last forever, so don’t forget to replace your supplies as needed!

Looking for additional CPAP cleaning supplies, like wipes or a CPAP mask and accessory sanitizer? See the selection at SHOPRotech!

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.