When you have your own practice, whether you’ve been in business for a while or are just starting out, it’s important that you explore all potential avenues to increase your revenue stream while providing the appropriate resources for your patients.
Doctors. Dentists. Chiropractors. It’s extremely easy to just continue doing what you’ve always done, but it’s also important to keep your ear to the ground and not miss opportunities that help both your patients and your practice’s bottom line.
Sleep testing has exploded over the last decade and doesn’t really show any signs of stopping. It’s estimated that roughly 20 million American adults alone suffer from some kind of sleep disorder, but treatments have been difficult to come by because sleep disorders often go undiagnosed. But the ramifications of undiagnosed sleep disorders, like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), insomnia, narcolepsy, or restless leg syndrome (RLS), can be potentially life threatening.
In order to prevent your patients from developing serious health problems like obesity, Type II diabetes, heart disease, stroke, or heart attack, you need to keep an eye out for the signs and symptoms of sleep disorders, especially the most likely culprit--OSA. By offering at-home sleep testing in your practice, you can help your patients as well as your practice.
Helping Your Patients
As a doctor, we know that the care and treatment of your patients is your top priority, but specialists can be difficult to see for the average patient, so Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) are in an especially critical position to help their patients identify these sleep disorders sooner and for a lower cost.
While you may think you should just send your patient to a specialized sleep clinic, it’s important to remember that these are often extremely expensive and uncomfortable for your patient--especially if they are only suffering from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is easily diagnosed and does not require the rigor and resources of a sleep lab.
Specifically with sleep apnea, diagnosing the condition sooner is critical. If left undiagnosed, sleep apnea can impact your patient’s cardiovascular health as well as their immune system, leaving them more susceptible to illness and other complications.
At-home sleep testing is an incredible alternative to in-lab tests because they are comfortable, cost-effective, and have a much faster turnaround time. All of this leads to happier patients who get the results and treatments they need as soon as possible.
Helping Your Practice
Aside from the patient-focused benefits of in-office sleep testing, you will also add a completely new revenue stream to your business. An article out of Medical Economics lists the incredible monetary benefits of offering in-house sleep testing to your patients.
Barrett Tilley, MD, has had a very positive experience offering at-home sleep testing to patients in his California-based practice. “The financial impact of sleep studies has been ‘significant enough that it’s worth having in the office, equal to or better than most other in-office procedures,” Tilley says ...“I think it’s a very beneficial test to offer in a primary care office,” he says. “It’s simple, it requires little time to discuss with the patient, and the follow-up time is short. I can’t think of a reason not to have it. The impact has been dramatic.”
By working with ApneaMed, you gain a partner who gives you several different partnership options so you can make an informed decision about which option is best for your practice. We recommend the in-office partnership which allows you to have an at-home sleep testing unit on-site that you can lend out to your patients who require testing. This is our best and fastest partnership option, but we have a few others for you to consider.
Our Referral Partnership allows you to refer your patients to ApneaMed instead of offering them the at-home testing unit directly. Similar to the In-Office Partnership, they will return the unit to us and we will interpret and send you their sleep testing results. Then, you can review their treatment options with them or refer them to our patient care representatives.
Lastly, we offer our Mail-Out Partnership where you can order a home-sleep testing kit from us on behalf of your patient. We will mail them the unit, receive it back after testing, and forward you the appropriate results and diagnosis. Like the Referral Partnership, we will allow you to either discuss treatment options with your patient directly or have them work with our patient care representatives to find a treatment solution that works for them.
Regardless of what kind of practice you operate or the types of patients you see, sleep disorders can affect everyone regardless of age, sex, ethnic background, or medical history. It’s imperative that you look into all avenues for treatment so you can provide comprehensive care for every single one of your patients. Not only that, but adding new revenue streams to your clinic or practice will allow you and your patients to thrive for years to come.