Midmark Corporation released a physician usage study demonstrating the viability, accuracy, and affordability of primary care physician-managed home sleep testing using the Midmark SleepView Monitor and Portal. The report shows that the complexity and costs for achieving a reliable diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can be lowered as much as 70% by providing primary care physicians with the necessary technology and support.
For the 5-month study, Midmark worked closely with four physician practices to implement the home sleep testing device as part of their primary care services. Staff and physicians were given training on using the SleepView Monitor, patient instruction, and secure use of the SleepView Portal that enables a practice to manage test scheduling, remote test scoring, physician diagnostic interpretation, and data management. Training on the Epworth and STOP-BANG screening tests commonly used to identify patients at risk for OSA was also provided.
During the pilot program, a total of 60 home sleep tests utilizing SleepView were completed with patients identified as at-risk for OSA by their physicians. Of the patients tested, 80% were diagnosed as positive for OSA, with only 3.3% receiving inconclusive results requiring a retest in an overnight facility.
Even more significant was the fact that the results showed that diagnosing OSA through home sleep testing versus an overnight facility stay lowered the overall cost of care for the patients. Using Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services national average reimbursement rates, the pilot program demonstrated a 70.4% reduction in diagnostic testing costs to the patient and insurer. This amounted to $29,334 savings for the 60 patients tested.
The pilot program also demonstrated that the physician’s ability to order a sleep study at the patient home on the very night of the office visit was valuable. With the ability to achieve a diagnostic study immediately after identifying an at-risk individual, more patients agreed to be tested. As stated by participating physician, Dr Stewart Segal of Lake Zurich Family Treatment Center near Chicago, "The simple words, ‘We can test you tonight at your own home,’ as opposed to ‘We can test you in 2 weeks at an overnight facility,’ proved to be highly influential in getting the patients to agree to a test. When I said those words about having the test done immediately and at home, fewer patients objected."