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North Dakota Providers and AAHomecare Keep Eyes on Inappropriate Internet CPAP Sales

UPDATE: On Feb. 21, Walmart responded via email to AAHomecare that the CPAP devices had been removed from their site.  We have confirmed that they have been removed.

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When a patient asked Sanford Healthcare for assistance regulating settings on a CPAP device recently, Sanford Healthcare Accessories found out the individual had purchased the equipment from a third-party seller via Walmart.com without confirming a prescription.  Barb Stockert with Sanford also checked and found the devices directly available on the Walmart.com platform without the need for a prescription as required by North Dakota State law.  North Dakota also requires that these machines be set-up by a clinically trained professional, which also did not happen.

Stockert reached out to the North Dakota Board of Pharmacy, which has opened an investigation into the matter, and also let AAHomecare know about the incident.  The Association has followed up with a letter to Walmart about the issue, noting that both Federal and North Dakota laws prohibit the sale of CPAP devices without a prescription and that North Dakota also requires a DME Retailer license to directly provide this equipment to consumers.

AAHomecare and the HME community are committed to making sure that HME is only provided in accordance with Federal and state laws and regulations and that patients and caregivers can be assured that these essential products are backed up with the clinical knowledge, experience, and care that is a hallmark of this industry.

AAHomecare will follow up when we receive a response from Walmart.  As of today, we still see several CPAP machines available via Walmart.com without prescription requirements noted. [note: the devices were removed Feb. 21; see top of post for more details].

Editor’s note:  Barb Stockert has recently left Sanford HealthCare Accessories, and remains involved in HME through her work with the Big Sky Association of Medical Equipment Suppliers, the Pacific Association of Medical Suppliers, and Jurisdiction D DAC.

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