SleepMed’s network may open the door to new referrals.

These days, almost every sleep professional could use a few new referral sources. SleepMed, the largest US private sleep diagnostics provider, just launched a new narrow network, which may be a viable new referral source for your practice. The nonbinding, no-fee administrative service organization is for sleep specialists who want to expand their patient base in the evolving healthcare environment, SleepMed says.

“There’s a lot of pressure in the market right now in terms of reimbursement and availability. To respond to this, I’m excited to inform you of this SleepMed network that will allow us to approach this from the standpoint of improving availability and the quality of care in sleep diagnostics and therapy,” says Dr Richard Bogan, chief medical officer of SleepMed, in a corporate video introducing the narrow network.

Currently, SleepMed has 700 sleep physicians working with more than 1,200,000 patients and more than 100 insurance payors. The narrow network allows sleep professionals (both those currently affiliated and those not affiliated with SleepMed) to provide services to SleepMed clients, such as reading home sleep tests. The goal is to improve access to quality care for the millions of patients affected with issues including obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, and poor sleep hygiene habits, according to the company.

“SleepMed has several opportunities now in the area of third-party payors as well as large enterprises. In fact, we are piloting some projects now that allow us to approach large populations and look at sleep wellness to improve the diagnostics and therapy in employees, in hopes of making the diagnosis, improving workplace performance, reducing morbidity and mortality in the workplace, and reducing workplace accidents,” Bogan says. “We’re very interested in providing access for patients through our referral base, really centering on the sleep expert at the middle of this sleep community. The network will actually enhance this.”

As a member of the SleepMed network, you can continue to use whatever home sleep test you prefer in your practice. The membership allows you to also interpret SleepMed's ARES home sleep test through SleepMed-contracted payors.

As a member of the SleepMed network, you can continue to use whatever home sleep test you prefer in your practice. The membership allows you to also interpret SleepMed’s ARES home sleep test through SleepMed-contracted payors.

The SleepMed network focuses on linking insurance providers with sleep specialists and patients who need to be treated at the local level. SleepMed has contracted with employers and commercial, nongovernmental payors, including self-funded and fully insured health reimbursement plans for access to an integrated, select network of board-certified physicians and diagnostic testing systems, which in turn offers high-quality sleep testing and diagnostic services to members and participants in the health and/or wellness program(s) of each network client.

SleepMed says it has created a cost-effective vehicle for patient management services. Available programs are being actively promoted as coordinated employee sleep health solutions. SleepMed will establish the fee amount for each service based on negotiations with the network clients. For each opportunity to provide services, SleepMed will offer the physician the corresponding fee schedule. SleepMed will bill and collect from the clients.

As a private solo practitioner in sleep medicine, cardiology, and obesity medicine in Greenville, NC, Lee A. Surkin, MD, joined the SleepMed network because he has seen his referral network decline as more hospitals are required to refer to their (many times, newly acquired) sleep centers. “Any type of organization of physicians grouping together with a company like SleepMed, which can open up new patient referrals and assist in overall efficiencies of healthcare from a sleep medicine standpoint delivery, is positive,” Surkin says. “Especially in the healthcare environment we live in, as physicians coalesce into large hospital networks, the private practitioner is under a greater degree of pressure to seek out referrals.”

Sean Heyniger, SleepMed CEO, says, “The SleepMed network offers sleep specialists greater visibility at a local, community level while providing national support and visibility. Sleep specialists and sleep lab technicians have told us they are experiencing a reduction in patient volumes as utilization management companies shift patients from sleep labs to home testing….SleepMed is committed to advancing access to quality sleep care for everyone.”

To enroll or learn more about SleepMed’s new network, email [email protected] or call (800) SleepMed.

Sree Roy is editor of Sleep Review. Send comments and questions to [email protected].

Additional Information

Watch a video announcing the launch of the new SleepMed network.