Sleep apnea is a dangerous problem that can lead to heart attacks, strokes, excessive daytime sleepiness, short-term memory loss and increases in motor vehicle accidents. It is essential to diagnose and treat sleep apnea. One study showed a 36% decrease in 8 year survival comparing treated and untreated sleep apnea.

A problem frequently experienced is that the cost of health, life and disability insurance policies can increase exponentially following diagnosis of sleep apnea. This is problematic for owners of small businesses and wealthy individuals who utilize life insurance to protect their estates.

Financially savvy patients are turning to off the record sleep studies. Patients pay for their sleep studies and treatment in cash to avoid any footprints of the diagnosis. Patient’s records may be identified only by numerical accounts or convenient name misspellings or addition of new names can protect patient’s identities. (Example Barack Obama could become Eric B Obama).

Cash payment secures patient privacy. HIPPA regulations theoretically protect our personal medical information. When obtaining new insurance you forfeit these HIPPA rights in order to qualify for coverage. Insurance benefits can be denied in the future if there is a record of undisclosed illness.

There are two primary treatments for sleep apnea, CPAP and oral appliances. Severe sleep apnea, especially in morbidly obese patients, is usually CPAP initially and an oral appliance for patients who don’t tolerate CPAP. Studies have shown that the majority of patients reject CPAP and prefer comfortable oral appliances when offered a choice of treatments.

Patients who are interested in off the grid sleep studies can contact Dr Ira L Shapira, a Gurnee, Il dentist who has been treating sleep apnea with oral appliances since the early 1980s. As a Visiting Assistant Professor at Rush Medical Schools Sleep Center he did research on jaw position and sleep apnea. (Learn more about oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea at http://www.ihatecpap.com. )

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