When it comes to your sleep apnea services, it’s time to dream bigger. Instead of using a fragmented approach that has a patient visiting health care professionals outside your practice, consider offering them a total sleep apnea solution with expanded services at your office. This comprehensive model puts your team in charge of the patient’s entire sleep care experience, helping to boost your patient’s health outcome while bolstering your practice’s profits.
Put the Old Approach to Sleep Apnea Services to Bed
If you’re like most ENT physicians, you’ll see a patient with suspected sleep apnea at your office and then send them to other providers for further evaluation and treatment. They’ll complete their sleep study at an outside facility, where another doctor interprets their results and orders their CPAP machine. Or, instead of getting a CPAP machine, they’ll go to a dentist’s office to be fitted for a dental appliance as part of their treatment plan. After that, they’ll return to your office for follow-up appointments, where your primary metric on how well they’re sleeping is simply the patient’s or their bed partner’s opinion rather than any scientific data.
There’s a better way to care for the nearly 40 million adults in the U.S. suffering from sleep apnea. Currently, only 10% of those individuals (4 million) have been diagnosed, and only 10% of that group (400,000) have received treatment. That means there’s a vast group of people who need help with their sleep apnea—but they also need the diagnosis and treatment process to be a whole lot simpler, more effective and data-driven.
Help Patients Rest Easy—Implement a Total Sleep Apnea Solution
Bringing sleep apnea services in-house is a game changer. It makes life easier for your already exhausted sleep apnea patients, adds new revenue streams to increase your profitability and takes the overall quality of patient care from good to great.
Here’s how it works.
Offer At-Home Sleep Testing—Patients can skip the sleep lab and take an at-home sleep apnea test instead. An at-home test is often more convenient and comfortable for patients since they can take it where they usually sleep, providing a more accurate reading of their sleeping pattern. It also allows your practice to bill for the cost of the test, its interpretation and more—all dollars that previously were going to a sleep lab.
Prescribe a CPAP Machine—Instead of having an outside provider prescribe their CPAP machine, you can write the prescription (and charge insurance) for the device through your practice.
Employ a Dentist as 1099 Contractor—Having patients get their dental sleep appliances from a dentist you bring on as a 1099 contractor makes good financial sense for the patient and your practice. Often, patients who need an appliance go to their dentist only to find out that their dental insurance doesn’t cover the cost and the dentist doesn’t accept their medical insurance.
By using a dentist contractor as part of your ENT practice, you can bill the patient’s medical insurance for the device, effectively minimizing the patient’s out-of-pocket costs while taking in additional profits.
Adopt Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM)—You no longer have to rely solely on the patient’s perception of their sleep quality. Get real-time data on how well a sleep apnea treatment is working with RPM, which monitors a patient’s heart rate, sleep architecture, blood oxygen level, airflow and breathing patterns using consumer-grade Garmin wearables and a virtual care app.
This data set provides a rich view of the patient’s health and allows you to adjust treatment as needed to ensure the best possible patient outcome. Another bonus? Many insurances cover RPM.
If You Snooze, Your Patients and Your Practice Could Lose
Untreated sleep apnea can contribute to a whole host of unfortunate consequences, including heart attacks, high blood pressure, stroke, sexual dysfunction, car accidents from drowsy driving and more. Patients suffering from this condition deserve high-quality, all-inclusive health care—the kind of care you can give them with a total sleep solution approach.
Implementing expanded sleep services at your practice sooner rather than later is a smart move. You can start improving the lives of your sleep apnea patients faster and help prevent the development of any related comorbidities, all while watching your practice’s revenue soar.
Don’t sleep on it—contact your Fuel regional manager today to learn how US ENT can help you bring a total sleep solution to your practice.