More About Austin Sleep Solutions
Are you as passionate about patient care as we are? Are you tired of your patients falling through the cracks of the “referring out to a specialist” game? WE ARE HERE FOR YOU! Imagine being able to dispense an HST to your patient the same day you have the suspicion that S/He has sleep apnea! Our board certified Sleep Physicians will interpret the study and recommend treatment options within a few days! Our sleep coordinators will be in your office to coordinate the dispensing of the Home Sleep Test as well as all follow ups!” For doctor references of offices we are currently helping, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Benefits of Home Sleep Testing for Your Patients
Approximately 3.5 million diagnostic sleep tests are ordered each year.
An estimated 80% of these tests are appropriate for home sleep testing, where the patient is able to complete a sleep study in the comfort and convenience of his/her own home.
It can potentially take weeks to get an appointment at a sleep center; home sleep testing can happen next day or around your patient’s schedule
Up to 15% of patients fail to make their appointment at a sleep center due to fear, inconvenience or delay in scheduling time; home testing minimizes those factors, eliminating travel time and the need for child care.
The natural at-home sleep environment facilitates a normal night’s sleep, improving the accuracy of test results. Home sleep test results are delivered via cloud-based software to the interpreting physician the morning after test completion, making speed to treatment faster than any other OSA home testing option.
Results are provided quickly in an easy-to-understand format.
Home sleep testing eliminates waiting periods and improves test completion rates.
Common questions about home sleep testing
Why is HST preferred by patients over traditional in-lab sleep studies?
Most Comfort- Most people are more comfortable sleeping in their own beds with no one observing them from another room.
Lowest Cost- Cost is a huge consideration as well with HST. A home sleep test is a fraction of the cost of an in-lab study. Because of this overwhelming cost factor, Medicare and most insurance companies are now covering HST. Interpretation of the HST results is performed by a board certified sleep doctor.
Most Convenient- Patients are usually diagnosed, treated, and on therapy in less than a week with the Michigan Sleep Solutions process as compared to possible months later in traditional in-lab sleep studies. With Michigan Sleep Solutions, the device is dispensed right out of your office, complete with knowledgeable instructions given by a trained professional. The next day, the patient returns the device to your office, the study is then uploaded and read by a board-certified sleep physician, and a follow up visit to review results is scheduled.
How will HST benefit my practice?
-For starters, you will notice reduced paperwork and less interaction with insurance companies. Most insurers don’t require prior approval for HST if the order is from the primary care physician (PCP). Your staff can save a bit of time by not having to obtain approvals for a specialist referral or in-lab sleep study. They will not have to waste time going back and forth with the insurance companies to justify the test, providing documentation, clinical notes, CMN’s, etc.
-HST allows faster results and interpretation by a boarded sleep doctor. Results are usually available in 3 – 5 days after the patient has completed their HST and the boarded sleep physicians review each study making treatment recommendations or suggestions on how to proceed. Patients are usually tested and receiving treatment within a week compared to a several month delay with many in-lab sleep studies. This allows for patient retention within your practice, along with simple follow up if necessary under the guidance of a boarded sleep physician.
-Most important of all, HST makes for happier patients. People like being able to sleep in their own bed and in an environment in which they are accustomed. Not to mention, nobody wants someone watching over them while they sleep. Patients with high deductibles and co-pays appreciate the low cost this option provides in these harsh economic conditions. Older patients appreciate not having to drive in the dark and go to some unfamiliar place to sleep.
How reliable is home sleep testing technology?
The technology for home sleep testing has been available for over twenty years. It has been effectively utilized in Europe, Canada, and Australia to substantially lower healthcare costs. Technological improvements in the last several years have made it even more reliable including simpler set up procedures for the patient and faster sampling rates on the oximetry channels. For more information on home sleep technology please refer to Amercian Academy of Sleep Medicine.
How do I perform the Clinical assessment?
OSA risk can be determined in one of three ways:
Patient can complete the Thornton Snoring Scale
Patient can complete the Sleep Epworth Exam
Ask the patient the five OSA screening questions:
Do you snore?
Do you have hypertension?
Are you excessively tired during the day?
Have you been told that you stop breathing during sleep?
Is your neck size greater than 17 inches (Male) or 16 inches (Female)?
If the patient answers “Yes” to at least two questions then they are candidates for HST. The physician should perform a cardiopulmonary assessment to rule out disorders such as CHF and COPD, examine the airway for enlarged tonsils, obvious asymmetries or blockage of the nasal passages and document your results in the patient’s chart.
Does Insurance pay for the Test?
CMS approved coverage in 2008. Most insurance companies have already followed suit, but there are a few stragglers that are trying to catch up. We have been in talks with the few that do not cover HST and most of them have it on their agenda, but are still trying to adjust to some of the other changes in the healthcare system and it hasn’t quite made it to the top of the list.