What About Home Sleep Testing?

Beautiful woman lying and sleep on the snowy bedWhen it comes to getting your patients tested for sleep apnea, have you ever considered sleep testing at home? Many patients might find that to be a better option! Working with a sleep doctor can help you in the diagnosis of sleep apnea for your patients, while helping you to take the next step in treatment with oral appliance therapy. If your sleep doctor offers home sleep testing, your patients might be more inclined to seek diagnosis and treatment. Let’s take a look at home sleep testing vs. in office sleep testing.

Keep it in the Office

The first option for diagnosing a patient with sleep apnea is sleep testing through the sleep doctor’s facilities. By having your patients tested through the sleep doctor’s facilities, all the technology needed is available for them. This is the most often utilized way of sleep testing, but many patients are not always up for that. Typically, when testing for sleep apnea with sleep testing, your sleep doctor’s facilities will be a go-to place for your patient’s care—they want to be known for the go-to place for all forms of sleep testing.

At Home Sleep Studies

Recently, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association, Medicare has approved coverage for home sleep studies. As countless people pack an overnight bag have thought, “wouldn’t it be nice if I could just do this at home in my own bed?” Well, it looks like that is an option now.

In March, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services dropped its long standing opposition to home studies. A positive diagnosis for sleep apnea is established if:

  • The apnea-hypoapnea index as measured by the portable device is 15 or more. This means that a person experiences 15 apneas an hour.
  • The AHI is between 5 and 14, and the patient has documented symptoms of:
    • Daytime sleepiness
    • Impaired cognition
    • Mood disorders
    • Hypertension
    • Ischemic heart disease
    • History of stroke

Whether you think sleep studies should be performed in a facility or at home, it is important to contact your local sleep doctor to discuss the best ways for testing your patients for sleep apnea. As experts in sleep apnea, sleep doctors are available to help you during the diagnosis process so you can take the next step in proper treatment for you patients.

Contact Dr. Mayoor Patel to learn more about sleep apnea and the relationship you can have with your sleep doctor. If you have worked with a sleep doctor before, what sleep study was preferred? Share your answers with us by leaving a comment!