Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Truck drivers are fish in big medical’s apnea barrel

I wish I could say this is news, but it’s something most truck drivers have become all too familiar with.

The Wall Street Journal reports this week that ResMed – maker of CPAPs – is “poised to benefit (from) a joint committee of key advisory boards to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.”

“This clearly represents a significant growth opportunity for ResMed and any progress towards improved OSA guidelines and/or mandated screening would be material,” Citi analyst Alex Smith said, according to the Wall Street Journal.



As Land Line has reported, truck drivers with a body mass index, or BMI, of 35 or greater would be tested for sleep apnea.

During the last four years, however, Land Line has pointed out repeatedly how big medical companies are leveraging their influence with the FMCSA Medical Review Board to push for increased sleep testing of truckers. 

Sleep labs, the same ones that charge $2,000 to $3,000 for an overnight exam, have combined with large corporations who manufacture CPAP machines. These companies want a large share of the estimated 3 million CDL holders to be tested, with most of those tested required to purchase a CPAP.

“ResMed is pursuing multiple strategies to drive growth, of which the trucker’s opportunity is but one, and collectively these gives us confidence about ResMed’s medium-term outlook,” Mr. Smith added, according to the Journal.

With revenues approaching $1 billion annually, ResMed still isn’t the largest corporation involved in apnea. General Electric Co. has a subsidiary that makes CPAPs and happens to employ a medical doctor who also serves as chairman of the Medical Review Board.

In a nutshell, the Journal’s article and big medicine’s influence point out why an apnea regulation is being pursued: it’s easy money for those who have FMCSA’s ear. 

25 comments:

  1. In october of 2011 I went to my family doctor for an injection.While there I said I had not been feeling very good.They did an EKG on me.Next thing I know I'm in an ambulance going to the hospital.To make a long story short.I now have a defibulater in my chest,Sleep apnea,and no job.I'm 63 years old and had no desire to quite trucking!! I've drove for 43 years.

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  2. I attended a meeting on this topic about 3 years ago with other safety officers, trucking company owners and a troll who was licking his chops over the millions he might make testing truck drivers and selling CPAP machines. His pitch was that we had to test to reduce liability in the event of an accident and resulting litigation. It's all about the money.

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    1. While on cpap I sleepwalked for the 1st time in my life. my wife was driving about 60mph when I got up and got out of truck like it was parked. got fractured pelvic 3 fractured ribs crushed rt wrist and road rash on 6/8/12..then trying to get complaint I was using cpap again and 10/1/12 I had a seizure.

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  3. I see a bigger problem on the horizon. After everyone is tested and forced to purchase the CPAP, the employers' insurance companies will raise the liability rates to cover employees with Sleep Apnea, forcing the employer to have to find reasons to let those employees go (fire, lay-off).

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    1. I've been told now I'm to high a risk to rehire or even be a passenger on a truck. And to look for other employment. 25yrs otr One night on cpap with seizure. No job.

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  4. I just watched the TV News tonight, and a report saying 3-4-5 year old children and there UNUSUAL BEHAVIOR is from SLEEP APNEA...Ok so like I said before, after they get the Truckers, Guess what, Sleep Apnea will be the root of all Ills and the only cure will be CPAP machines for everyone, The sleep Industry is making a fortune, the Makers of the machines are making a fortune and the DOCTOR who sits on the board of FMCSA should be excused for INSIDER TRADING ....Imagine if truckers could say to each shipper, OH YOU MUST HAVE THESE LOAD BARS and thats 40 bucks, OH and you need this plastic liner, @ 50 Bucks a foot, its the same thing when a Doctor can say with a straight face, The Company I won several million shares of stock in is to be mandated as the ONLY Sleep Apnea treatment....Dentists should be filing a class action suit right now.....Sleep Apnea and Iraq...the root of all evils...

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  5. Let’s get real by Charlie Morasch, Land Line Magazine

    Medical professionals, many who stand to benefit from such a regulation, continue to beat the drum that most truck drivers should be tested for sleep apnea.

    I have a short reply:

    Americans are 10 times more likely to die because of a medical professional’s error than they are in a crash with a truck.

    Let that sink in.

    As Land Line reported last week, advisory boards including the FMCSA Medical Review Board approved recommendations that all truck drivers with a body mass index of 35 or greater be evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea.

    Some studies estimate U.S. patient deaths by medical errors in at least the tens of thousands, making Americans 50 times more likely to die at the hand of a doctor than by a truck crash.

    The annual fatalities tied to wrecks involving commercial vehicles has hovered near the 4,000 mark for years, actually improving the past few years and dropping below 4,000. That 4,000 figure includes any wreck in which a commercial vehicle was involved, including when the driver of a motorcycle or passenger car is killed while rear-ending a stopped truck.

    Ben Hoffman is chairman of FMCSA’s Medical Review Board and the chief medical officer for GE and. Yes – that GE – the one that manufactures CPAP machines.

    Hoffman took control of last week’s meeting, denigrating opposing viewpoints and largely ignoring anyone who didn’t agree with his opinion that most overweight truckers likely have sleep apnea and need CPAPS specifically to treat the affliction.

    I’m stunned that Hoffman apparently doesn’t feel he may have a conflict of interest.

    For fans of the NBC show “30 Rock,” this would be a bit like Jack Donaghy, the fictional TV character played by Alec Baldwin as GE’s president of East Coast Television and Microwave Oven Programming overseeing a federal advisory board that regulates television. Well, regulates television and microwaves – and can require millions of Americans to purchase more microwaves.

    But I’ll say it again – Americans are at least 10 times more likely to be killed by a medical professional than by a truck wreck – even a wreck caused by you.

    After the Medical Review Board voted to recommend drivers with a BMI of 35 undergo expensive testing, OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer told me he doesn’t disagree that health problems exist for most Americans, including truckers.

    SO EVEN WITH THIS EVIDENCE THAT THE FIX IS IN...THE BIG MONEY LOBBYS HAVE FIXED IT, now the thing to do Is find out WHO of them profits on stock after this comes to fruition, and then file a class action lawsuit becasue its not about our health but more about lining some fatcats pockets....I disagreee with Todd Spencer, I think truckers are overall pretty healthy, they may be overweight, but we all take a Physical every year and most things are caugh5t and dealt with in a doctors office,
    Being Overweight isnt a sign of bad health, people who think FAT PEOPLE sit at the food trough and Pound down candy bars is wrong. Its as if now if your FAT your the root of all evils, Ive been a big guy all my life, since Hi School, yet Ive had NO HEALTH ISSUES, I dont smoke, drink, my BP is good....and I sleep fine....

    But How do you folks sleep who bring forth legislation and rules that dont solve the problem, yet it enriches your freinds and your freinds companys, Congress had to pass laws about Insider Trading and many couldnt believe our CONGRESSMEN/WOMEN would act on Inside Information while making decision on our country....BUT ITS HAPPENED...So Its time for all of the FMCSA BOARD TO STAND AND BE COUNTED, WHO AMONG YOU IS DIRECTLY INVOLVED, OWNS STOCK, OR COULD PROFIT FORM YOUR SUPPOSED REGULATORY DECISION....

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    1. 1 day all I did was put on cpap mask. Was sitting there thinking about miles we had to go and what time we would make our del. My grand daughter said I never laid down. I got up my wife was driving about 60 and she thought I was going to ck passenger door. She was yelling at me and my grand daughter was yelling at me I was not responsive. I got out of truck and rolled down the road. Like sleep walking. An officer was on scene talking to me by the time I was responsive. 6/8/12 I got frac pelvic crushed rt wrist 3 frac ribs road rash and concussion. After healing try'n to get cleared to drive again I slept all night with cpap device. Didn't feel well that morning laid down to clear my head. About 5 min's later I went into a seizure which lasted about 40 min's. Now I can't drive and out of work after using cpap. Who benifits??

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  6. So On Friday will some one at the MATS event stand and be countewd and ask WHO among the MRB as well as FMCSA stands to profit for there decision, and if they dont profit, will they themselves be screened for the issues .....I hope many drivers stand and ask the HARD questions....who among them have driven a truck, who has taken a yearly physical and is subjected to the scrutiny we as drivers face....ASK THE QUESTIONS !!!

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  7. Ben Hoffman, MD wrote :
    “while weight isn’t a worry for most” – That doesn’t really mesh with every other headline mainstream media publishes regarding Americans and weight. If you’re comfortable with truck drivers being required to purchase overnight sleep studies, and subsequently, cpap machines, then by all means, cheer this regulatory hijacking on.

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  8. nice idea.. thanks for posting.

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  9. Invasion of privacy:
    My husband has logged over 1.5 million miles, no accidents. Yes, he's overweight, and works on that constantly. He passes his CDL medical tests fine. He was forced by Schneider to take the apnea test and start using the CPAP. His machine is monitored- similar to GPS- and if it shuts off during the night in less than the alloted time, my husband becomes "non-compliant". He must take 3 days off work. He's monitored both when on duty and off. He isn't paid for any of the off time, or time spent to address the machine's malfunctions. The CPAP rep insists on sending parts to him while he's on the road- but drivers don't know where they will be in 2 or 3 days- so that's impossible. He wasn't trained on how to clean the unit, and experienced some asthma like symptoms which led to a doctor visit and prescription.

    Even if the CPAP works, the invasion of privacy and civil liberties is serious. If you watch the online video used by CPAP's reps selling the program to corporations, you'll see how insidious this is. It's entirely about return on investment- no mention whatsoever about helping the drivers' health.

    I'm contacting the ACLU.

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    1. In short after sleeping all night with cpap. Didn't feel well. I think they call it brain fog. 10/1/12 laid back down to clear my head without cpap. Wife said about 5 min's later I went into a seizure which lasted about 40 min's. Now I can't drive. Search side effects of cpap. 1 person after 4 yrs had a change in skin color. Air leaking into body has many other effects.

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  10. Ultimately, it may hurt your job or employment but would you rather be dead or be unemployed, besides its not impossible to gain control of ones health, although i must admit with proper medication and controls no one should be forced to quit doing what they love!

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    1. On 6/8/2012 I was on a cpap device when I sleep walked out of a semi. My wife was driving about 60 when I got out of truck like it was parked. still connected to cpap. got fractured pelvic 3 fractured ribs concussion and crushed rt wrist. proper med about killed me. got healed enough to drive was using cpap again 10/1/12 didn't feel good after taking cpap off. so I laid down and I had a seizure a few min's later. No history of sleepwalking or seizures. Know I can't even drive a car. Had 25yrs otr and 2 million safe driving award. Not using cpap now.

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    2. Read book dead doctors don't lie. Ultimately CPAP has cost me my Job. Almost my life. I'm sure my grand daughter will not forget me sleep walking out of truck while hooked up to cpap. Also had a seizure 10/1/12. 25 yrs otr. 2 million safe driving award. Now I can't. Cpap folks are even putting cpap on newborns. Billions to be made. Have found 1 death while being sleep tested. A fraud cast man took. Proper med?? How many are addicted to meds, OD on meds, die on prescribed meds. Drugs make me sick. Bore your self with a book Hands of Light by Barbara Ann Brennan. I found a person that saved my life with natural remedies.

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  11. Dead?? While on cpap device I sleepwalked out of semi. Wife was driving 60 when I got out. 10/1/12 after sleeping with cpap I didn't feel rt. So, I laid down on couch and had a seizure. How is my health after cpap? No job no insurance. I'm 51 had never sleepwalked before and had never had a seizure before using cpap. Proper meds. More people die from Properly prescribe meds than truck wrecks. I do use natural remedies. Cpap folks plan to make Billions. Who's health and wealth are they caring for???

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  12. I have never had too much of an opinion on motor carrier authority, UNTIL my brother got his license and started driving. Now I have a lot more interest in the entire industry. Thanks for this article.

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    1. Arya Stark, I have several posts on apenasupport.org website under The Scrooge. They don't want bad commits posted.. Other note. This is known fraud. Our Government continues to pay to.
      Health Insurance Fraud Accounted for 5% of U.S. Health Care Expenditures in 2003, Report ...An estimated $85 billion, or 5%, of the $1.7 trillion in U.S. health care spending in 2003 was lost to health insurance fraud, according to a report released Tuesday by the BlueCross BlueShield Association, the Atlanta …

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    2. link I found to more fraud. http://www.californiahealthline.org/Search.aspx?keyword=cpap+fraud&start=1billion and $90 billion annually (AP/Washington Post, 2/17).
      April 8 at 6:53pm · Like

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