Sleep Apnea Insurance Archives

Home Sleep Apnea Testing At Kendallville

home sleep apnea testingSleep apnea is a deadly disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times.

The home sleep apnea testing started in the month of January. Till the availability of home based sleep apnea testing only the sleep centers at Cameron Hospital in Angola, DeKalb Health in Auburn, Parkview Noble Hospital in Kendallville and Parkview LaGrange Hospital in LaGrange used to offer such tests. Sleep testing at a sleep center involved spending the night in the hospital and wearing wires connected to monitors.

Weldon Cline, the Parkview Noble polysomonographer technologist says that some people may be eligible to have these tests done in the comfort of their own homes.  Read the rest of this entry

As the number of patients diagnosed with sleep apnea is increasing the costs related to the health insurance is also increasing exponentially. This skyrocketing of the insurer’s sleep apnea related costs has now compelled the insurance companies to change their health coverage policies for the disorder.

A sleep apnea diagnosis usually requires patients undergo tests overnight in a sleep lab; some patients spend two nights in the lab to separately test for sleep apnea and to try a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. Insurers often spend $1,900 for one overnight stay.

As a result of this increased spending, some experts are concerned that overnight tests to diagnose apnea are over-prescribed. Medicare payments for sleep testing increased from $62 million in 2001 to $235 million in 2009.

This contrasts effective home sleep tests that cost less than a fifth of the lab version. Although Medicare began paying for home sleep tests in 2008, the tests have had only modest growth. Read the rest of this entry

Snoring was once considered a simple annoyance for bed partners, but there is a growing awareness in the medical community that the grunts and snorts of noisy sleepers can also be a sign of sleep apnea.

Testing can be a lucrative business, and labs have popped up in free-standing clinics and hospitals across the country. Over the past decade, the number of accredited sleep labs that test for the disorder has quadrupled, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

At the same time, insurer spending on the procedure has skyrocketed. Medicare payments for sleep testing increased from $62 million in 2001 to $235 million in 2009, according to the Office of the Inspector General.

Dr. David Gross, medical director of the sleep lab at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, D.C., says more than three-quarters of the patients who come to his lab are diagnosed with sleep apnea. “We are spending more and more money on sleep testing and treatment,” he says.

It’s no secret that the sleep business can be lucrative for physicians. While many sleep centers offer comprehensive care for sleep disorders, others are largely focused on overnight sleep testing, according to Dr. Nancy Collop, president of the academy. “A lot of people have gotten into the sleep business specifically to do that procedure,” she says.

Another option is a home sleep test, which costs less than a fifth as much as a lab test, and is considered effective for most patients. Medicare began paying for home sleep tests in 2008, but the tests have had only modest growth.

Some insurers, including WellPoint, are changing the way they pay for sleep testing to curb the costs.  Those changes are now widespread among Massachusetts insurers and are having an effect on the sleep industry in the state. [ Read Complete Post … ]

Sleep Apnea Makes Insurance Extremely Expensive

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. Read the rest of this entry

Innovative sleep apnea compliance solution integrates to leading Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) manufacturers.

Umbian Inc. is pleased to announce U-Sleep; the first commercially available, universal CPAP compliance monitoring solution. U-Sleep monitors CPAP device usage, providing critical daily feedback to CPAP users, their employers, sleep specialists and insurance carriers, based on customizable compliance standards.

CPAP devices are commonly used for the treatment of sleep apnea. The monitoring of CPAP device usage encourages regular use and subsequently improves the effectiveness of therapy. As part of an overall sleep apnea management program, U-Sleep can help companies achieve a decrease in absenteeism, accidents and liability while providing an increase in productivity and quality of life for their employees. Read the rest of this entry

The diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders have come a long way in recent years. In the past, people who snored might be advised to sew a tennis ball onto the back of their pajama top. The “snore ball” would discourage them from sleeping on their back and might quiet their droning. Or a doctor might use the “dog index” to measure poor sleep: If your dog generally sleeps with you but by morning has left the bed more than half the time, it may be because you’re such a loud, restless sleeper that the dog has gone elsewhere for some peace and quiet.

How things have changed. Now, doctors with special training diagnose and treat more than 80 sleep disorders – from obstructive sleep apnea to narcolepsy – at special centers with labs where a patient’s every sleeping moment may be recorded and measured. Read the rest of this entry

Conditions such as diabetes,  sleep apnea and depression that are well-controlled are “not a terrible risk,”  and people can get life insurance at reasonable rates.

It would be a good idea to shop around if you have a health  condition that makes getting life insurance a challenge.  Insurers have all  developed their own underwriting guidelines, and some are able to offer better  rates for applicants with certain medical conditions.

Guaranteed life insurance is another option if  you’re looking for coverage with no health questions asked and no physicals  required. But the amount of coverage offered is usually quite limited, the  premium will be very high, and if you die within the first year or two, your  loved ones will likely receive only the premiums you’ve paid and any interest  earned. Read the rest of this entry

Watermark  Medical Inc, Boca Raton, Fla, recently announced that it will offer CareFusion’s  NOX-T3 Home Sleep Testing (HST) device for the diagnosis of obstructive  sleep apnea (OSA). The NOX-T3 portable sleep monitor will be available  through Watermark Medical’s network and will expand the company’s HST  product line, which already includes the ARES wireless HST device.

“We are excited to add another HST option to our current offering,”  said Charlie Alvarez, president of Watermark Medical. “As obstructive sleep apnea(OSA) awareness increased and insurance companies are mandating a home sleep test option, availability of the CareFusion NOX-T3 home sleep testing device allows us to further expand the Watermark Medical platform and allow  other HST devices to access our extensive physician, sleep lab, and DME  networks.”

CareFusion’s NOX-T3 features an array of sleep sensors, including a  Bluetooth receiver. The product will be available via Watermark  Medical’s nationwide network in Q3 2011.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 45 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a disorder that causes a person to briefly and repeatedly stop breathing during sleep. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a debilitating, often life-threatening sleep disorder an estimated 800 thousand patients are being diagnosed with OSA per year in the USA and approximately 10% being treated.According to Jim Boyle a Registered Respiratory Therapist and Sleep Disorder Specialist with 20 years clinical experience has treated hundreds of OSA suffers and is the genesis behind People with untreated sleep apnea are more likely to have a heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and Type II diabetes. Boyle founded the Company to offer a convenient and cost effective alternative to diagnosing and treating sleep apnea patients. Read the rest of this entry

Sleep Apnea:Types,Symptoms and Treatments

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They often occur five to 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound.

Sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed. Doctors usually cannot detect the condition during routine office visits. Also, there are no blood tests for the condition. Most people who have sleep apnea do not know they have it because it only occurs during sleep. A family member or bed partner may first notice the signs of sleep apnea.

The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. This most often means that the airway has collapsed or is blocked during sleep. The blockage may cause shallow breathing or breathing pauses.

When you try to breathe, any air that squeezes past the blockage can cause loud snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea is more common in people who are overweight, but it can affect anyone. Read the rest of this entry

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