Returning equipment to Apria for refund
August 25, 2015 11:29 AM   Subscribe

My doctor prescribed a CPAP earlier this year, and my insurance at the time covered a rental for three months, at which the unit would be "mine". The three months ended in May, and I happened to change jobs at that time.

Last week, Apria (the CPAP vendor) contacted me requesting that I pay $800+ for the device. I told them that this is the first time I've been contacted, and that I can't return the machine. I tried contacting the billing department, but the hold times (which they tell you) are between 40-80 minutes, and only open 9-5 (when most people are at work).

I can't really afford $800 at the moment, and would like to send the device back for a full or partial refund. Does anyone have any experience with "returning" CPAPs / DME to vendors, especially Apria? Do they have a legal right to refuse equipment returns?

Thank you!
posted by NYC-BB to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well, the one thing I can tell you is that bad faith and incompetence both should always be assumed in dealing with Apria, particularly their DME/CPAP division. So be wary of anything they tell you. It's entirely possible that the unit IS yours now, and they're just "forgetting" that information.

You might start with the insurance you had previously, though.
posted by wintersweet at 12:19 PM on August 25, 2015 [5 favorites]

my insurance at the time covered a rental for three months, at which the unit would be "mine"

What does your agreement with Apria say?

This is not intended as a cynical response, but without knowing that agreement, there isn't much we can do here. If they are violating their agreement, then you need to tell them how. If they are abiding by their agreement, then you need to pay them. There is no inherent right for you to return a functioning device for a full or partial refund unless your agreement with Apria allows you to.
posted by saeculorum at 12:37 PM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I believe this is the agreement that Apria uses for all DME, but I can't be sure due to the long wait times:
posted by NYC-BB at 1:05 PM on August 25, 2015

The agreement here is fairly clear in the case of a rental:

"the Rental Equipment shall at all times be the sole and exclusive property of the Company or its affiliate, and the Responsible Party shall have no rights or property interest in the Rental Equipment"

I realize that many people view legal agreements as magic incantations, but they actually do mean what they say.

Unless you can show otherwise (by finding the original agreement), you rented the equipment and you need to return it now. Apria seems to be charging you for failure to return the equipment, which is reasonable given the wording of the agreement you posted. The solution here, so far as I can tell, will be to return the device and pay for the rental fee from May to August (when you rented it and failed to pay Apria).
posted by saeculorum at 2:18 PM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

I've been going through a CPAP thing right now where mine was still a rental and I was moving out of state and had to return it in one state and am re-applying in another.


Anyway, I have to deal with Lincare, which has been awful, and yesterday I read discussion on the cpap forum that centered around LIncare and Apria having shady practices, especially with billing.

If you go to and search for Apria on their forums, you'll find plenty.

Best of luck.
posted by mermaidcafe at 2:33 PM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

One thing I found out when I was diagnosed with sleep apnea last year is that unless your insurance is really good, it may not be worth it to use them to get the machine. After waiting two months to get approved for a CPAP, I wound up paying a $600 co-pay for a machine that I could have bought online for $595--and there are much cheaper options than that. If you are tight on cash but don't want to choke and gasp all night, this one can be yours, free and clear, for $200. So if you wind up having to send that back, you might work with your doctor and look at online options. Insurance might not be the best way to do this.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 3:19 PM on August 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

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