90 day DOT medical card issued/Sleep test required, Need advice please

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by CK73, Dec 19, 2019.

  1. CK73

    CK73 Medium Load Member

    Dec 19, 2017
    I was worried about blood pressure flunking me.. it was OK, they got me because my neck circumference is an inch too big compared to last Dot physical, and my BMI is like 1 point over acceptable, Borderline.

    The Doc (real MD, not Chiro) said there had been some changes to the calculations since my last physical, and the sleep study was becoming the norm for obese drivers and not to worry.. The worry is, my insurance is worthless with a super high deduct, and I have no idea (am afraid to look lol) what this is going to cost.

    A buddy has an old CPAP he is willing to give me, so there is that.

    Questions are: How much should I pay for the sleep study, and are the alternatives like, if I lose alot of weight and repay for the physical out of my own pocket after doing so, can I avoid the sleep study in the next 90 days?

    Thanks in advance, PRO-TIP: if you have a physical coming up and are more than 75 pounds overweight, be prepared for a surprise, best to lose that weight now, this could be a career ender if you don't have good insurance or can't come up with the cash for the sleep study and CPAP.
    Mike2633 Thanks this.
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  3. Texnmidwest

    Texnmidwest Light Load Member

    Mar 6, 2015
    Bite the bullet and get the test done. Get a good machine set for your needs. Make payments for what is not covered. Don't risk your career over it JMHO
    dasouchek, Mike2633 and CK73 Thank this.
  4. kemosabi49

    kemosabi49 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Jan 13, 2013
    SW Arkansas
    @CK73 There have been no changes by the FMCSA regarding sleep apnea. Although the docs can say they are following "guidelines" in sending people for tests. In reality those docs are either an the pad from the sleep study industry or trying to CYA. You can go to a different doc for another physical (second opinion) right now, as long as you give the new examiner the same info you gave the first one.
    Losing. weight is a good idea. Also, there are home sleep studies that are recognized as valid that are less expensive that the other tests
  5. rcelmo

    rcelmo Medium Load Member

    Mar 23, 2015
    First....find a MD of your own.....preferably a Family Doctor.

    Tell him/her your problem.....ask for a HST. Home Sleep Test.....yes,
    it is DOT legal. Should cost less than $400. Get started as soon as possible...…
    the 90 day runs out pretty fast.....and you CAN NOT get an extension.. There
    are quite a few hoops to jump through.....and yes, it is basically Medical
    Malpractice the way the whole thing is set-up.

    At this point you have few options other than to go through the whole
    process. Your are now flagged as a risk for sleep apnea....that will show up
    on your medical record......the only way to make it go away is to get the study
    done.....if you don't have it you are good to go.....if you have it you will have to
    prove you are remedying the situation. Going to a different doctor will not make
    this go away...………..you can get a second opinion, but tell the second doctor
    exactly what is going on.

    The clinic will try to make you take a $6000 brain wave study test. The test
    does show sleep apnea.....but it tests for a lot of other issues as well. It involves
    a night in the clinic.....with about thirty wires hooked all over you.....you will be
    monitored by a nurse.....most can't sleep under those circumstances.....they will
    give you a sleeping pill......the HST is done at home in your own bed.

    Getting the test done is a major PITA.....BUT.... using a CPAP is not really that
    bad once you get used to it. If you have sleep apnea the CPAP will help. GOOD LUCK.
    91B20H8, x1Heavy and CK73 Thank this.
  6. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
    The CPAP machine must have a download capacity so the doctor can look back 90 days to make sure you're in compliance. Ask your buddy if his has that capability.
    CK73 Thanks this.
  7. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2016
    White County, Arkansas
    Also you want some way of disinfecting and clearing that buddy's machine of all dirty stuff in it from the buddy, the last thing you want is to acquire illness from him that came out of that machine. It can literally be a petri dish quietly colony bacteria that happily multiplies waiting for a human host to really enjoy. Thats you.

    Find a device that will clean that thing absolute. And disinfect same.

    If your insurance is worthless to you, dump it. There is no point in paying for something you cannot use. One trip to the ER in a few hours for certain problems will run you a 8 to 10K medical billing anyway. Most good hospitals are willing to write some of it off or have charity take care of some of it. And make payments on the rest, even if it's 10.00 a month.

    My last billing with my insurance with the hospital came out to about 140,000 dollars all together. Insurance paid as of December last year 62000 dollars clear. They negotiated back and forth (I have a form of Medicare, not the original government policy but one that is similar TO medicare and combines a second partial policy that I pay on each month which makes sure where possible 100% of medical costs are paid by insurance leaving me with relatively tiny bills to pay each month. Ive got about 450 dollars to go and pending another 300 in co pays from the heart doctor just this past month. Plus small charges from blood lab workups and nuclear scanning etc. The insurance billing has already exceeded 15,000 just the last 5 weeks alone in testing with him. They found essentially nothing. BP is in order, way below DOT limits and heart rate not a problem. The rest of it is whistle clean. The valves are still bad but nothing they can or need to do right now. I'll out live anyone based on heart. It will be something else that kills me.

    My BMI is a little high but otherwise not enough to trigger a sleep study for a DOT exam. Which is taken at my personal doctor, not concentra (Or ever....) that is the other thing. If a company sends me to a third party like concentra for testing DOT medical, they will have to find another employee. I refuse to physically walk inside a office that is designed with a reputation for herding everyone into a sleep study. Thats me. I can afford to have that position on principle. I have already been monitored to the Nth degree by the hospital when sleeping, if there was a problem with Apena there they would have found it last year. So thats another issue I know I do not have.

    Thats my two cents.

    IF you are sent into a sleep lab? You will NOT sleep. If they really want me to sleep in that kind of place with 1000 wires covering my body and head, they need to set a IV going and break out the Profofol. That will give them at least a few hours of sleepy beddy bye to work with.
    CK73 Thanks this.
  8. Jenn72

    Jenn72 Medium Load Member

    Jun 7, 2019
    Concentra snag me and my husband. I'm 5'7 and weigh 125lbs. My husband is overweight. I went to my safety department and asked if they had a list of companies for the CPAP test. It cost us $200 each for the test studies. The machine cost $600 with all the accessories you need with it. The company also does free lifetime compliance reports.His machine allows us to print out his compliance reports too. (Some Dr's want it from a clinic). We bring in the last 90 days and he is good to go.
  9. SmallPackage

    SmallPackage Road Train Member

    Dec 20, 2019
    Marion Texas
    I just had to let my CDL downgrade. Last day for it was tues the 17th. Due to the Cpap debacle. I havent drivin anything that requires a Cdl since the summer of 2015. Been co-managing the regional warehouse since then and all my personal stuff is now registered either under the Cdl requirement or antique/classic. So i dont need the cdl anymore.
    What lead up to this was going in to Concentra to get my cert. co still pays for all ex-driver employees to keep updated. Guess what? Needed sleep study and got 90 day.
    Did home study and failed by 1 point. Looked at sleep study paperwork that was filed to the ins. and saw someone had writtin on the reason for sleep study was I was complaining of not sleeping at night , not falling asleep at night, headaches, waking up tired, constantly taking naps, falling asleep at work during day. Wtf not from me. I do none have that!
    Anyway to do another sleep study was gonna cost me $567 out of pocket and the cpap was gonna be rent to own for way to much out of pocket a year for something i don’t need. And concentra wouldnt give me the 1 month they are supossed to give you if you are in the process of doing the study. It Takes time to get everything together for the study and they denied me cause i didn’t go thru their network and wasnt on the machine witin 90 days with at least 4 days of use already.
    Wasnt worth the bs anymore. I can do the same thing and enjoy trucks without the cpap regulation that everyone is gonna go thru no matter your size and weight.
    Badmon and kemosabi49 Thank this.
  10. SmallPackage

    SmallPackage Road Train Member

    Dec 20, 2019
    Marion Texas
    Btw. Now that im downgraded i can go back to concentra and get my 2 year cert. back to operate intrastate under 26,001 and be legal again. Because cpap is for cdl holders only. All About highway safety huh?
    Badmon, scottied67 and whoopNride Thank this.
  11. DougA

    DougA Road Train Member

    Dec 16, 2013
    Retired,In my shop in Md.
    Concentra,there's the hustle right there. I have been getting my DOT physicals at the same location for over 40 years. About 20 years or so ago, Concentra took over the place. Have never had a problem with my physicals, always 2 years, never an issue. Have always enjoyed good health, BP great, I'm getting close to 70, don't take any meds. Everything still works like it should, just a little slower nowadays.
    Couple of years ago, went back to Concentra to get my 2 year renewal. Everything fine, like normal. Waiting for the Dr. to come in the exam room to finish. Enter some female Dr. assistant of nationality unknown, tatoos all over, exuding confidence, tells me I will be getting a 90 day physical because of my neck size, and some other crap, and they conveniently had a place for me to go to, to get this testing done. Now nothing of me had changed, size wise or anything, since my previous physical 2 years prior, I'm just 2 years older. Told her thanks for nothing, threw all her crap in the trash, walked out. Drove up the road about 20 miles, where my son gets his DOT physical, walked in, walked out an hour later with my 2 year card.
    Concentra will never get another penny out of me.
    roshea, Lonesome, Badmon and 9 others Thank this.
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