BEFORE YOU START ON OXYGEN
This is based on my experience as Medicare recipient. When your pulmonologist recommends oxygen, his/her office may or may not recommend a O2 provider. I STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you DON’T make a choice immediately but research what is available. In my case I went with a provider the office used in the past and I regret my choice. You should also research the Medicare rules as once you chose a provider you are stuck for five years with great difficulty changing. An important factor is whether you plan on flying places or making long driving trips.
There are two basic types of O2 providers: local and national. I didn’t know the difference when I made my choice and ended up with a local provider. As we are retired and took several vacations a year requiring flying, a national provider would have been a much better choice. Whenever we flew, I would have to rent a machine at $100 a week that would be able to be used continuously overnight at our destination. At the time I was using a Respironics Simply Go Mini portable which I really liked and mainly used in a backpack. I had the large Respironics Everflo for home use; I have no complaints about the Everflo. So when I flew I rented a Simply Go (not mini) which could be used as a pull along portable and continuously overnight. Things have changed a lot since then as I am on tanks now and my flying days are over. (Expensive extra batteries are a necessity for traveling any distance.)
The advantages of a National Provider, I’ve been told, is that at least some providers, with planning will have an overnight concentrator waiting for you at your destination hotel, etc. This means when you fly you don’t need to deal with two Oxygen machines through TSA and on the plane. I don’t know if there is a charge for that service; it may vary with the national provider. There may disadvantages to a national provider, but I don’t have that information.
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