Solution #1  –  With the guidance of our Sleep Coordinator,  all your patients (with their permission) are given a validated screener.  Research has demonstrated that this one-page questionnaire  has both very low false negative and false positive responses in its ability to predict the existence of OSA.  This Weisfogel Screen was developed by our medical advisor, Dr. Gerry Weisfogel and our director of education, Dr. Barry Glassman.

Problem # 2 –  Even if patients at risk are identified, attempts to make the referral and have those patients actually contact the sleep lab for an appointment have often been fruitless.  Patients don’t see the association between their health and OSA. They simply don’t want to go to the sleep lab, and they certainly don’t want to pay the co-pays.   Often aware that the treatment they will receive is CPAP, they have predetermined that they would not consider the noisy and invasive “machine.”  They then conclude, “So why be tested?”

Solution #2 – This problem is resolved by educating and motivating the patient, and by providing a user friendly validated home sleep study for diagnostic purposes.  Physicians and associated health care providers simply don’t have the time needed for the patient education and motivation required.  In our model, screening is commonly done after the patients checks in with the receptionist.   When the screen is positive, the physician simply has the patient meet with the Sleep Coordinator (SC).  The sleep coordinator is a trained employee of our sleep company.   The coordinator can now spend the required time to explain the disorder and how it can relate to their specific health concerns.  The sleep coordinator can preauthorize the HSS with the insurance company and distribute the HSS.  In most cases the HSS is a covered procedure without co-pays. If there is a question raised about treatment, the patient can be advised that alternatives to CPAP exist, and that the concern about CPAP which may in fact be overstated with the massive improvements in the technology, isn’t warranted since alternatives do exist.

This sleep coordinator serves as a much needed true liaison for the patient throughout the diagnostic and treatment process.   The sleep coordinator is an extension of your office, and the patient centric approach will help increase and maintain your patient’s positive attitudes about your office!

Problem #3  –   Many of our patients are non-compliant with therapy for obstructive sleep apnea.

Solution #3  –  In the current model patients are referred to the sleep center, and when treatment is required, the first line of therapy is almost always CPAP.  Despite improvements in the technology, true CPAP compliance is approximately 50 percent using a very “generous” definition of success.  Despite the fact that oral appliance therapy has been demonstrated to be extremely effective in terms of  mean disease alleviation in patients with severe OSA, the lack of a true community with a team approach has prevented patients from being triaged appropriately without bias.  This bilateral bias has created a competitive environment between the physicians and dentists providing care for these patients.

The DSM Model eliminates the bias and creates a community of practitioners offering unbiased treatment decisions in the best interest of the patient.   It creates this environment in part by expanding the numbers of those patients who need treatment through appropriate  screening done in your office.

The result?  More patients — more communication — more education — a liaison who has an eye on the target of patient care monitoring the process —  and more patients more compliant with their chosen therapy.

Problem #4 –  When patients have been referred for oral appliance therapy, there has been limited follow up and communication, and the medical profession loses control of this critical disorder.

Solution # 4 –  The DSM model creates a community of professionals working as a team.  The sleep coordinator monitors all progress and both the dentist and physician are updated regularly.  A HIPPA compliant secure web portal is maintained and both the physician or the dentist can check any patient’s status at any time.

Problem # 5 –  New programs in a medical office tend to cost money and upset the staff, as well as get in the way of the routine of an already very hectic day.

Solution #5  –  As you will read below, not only does this program not require ANY financial cost or risk, it will provide a significant revenue stream (which you deserve for providing improved services for your patients!)  The staff has minimal involvement, and the patient flow is essentially unaltered.

Problem #6 –  Sleep labs are under utilized  and yet, ironically,  in some cases there are still long waits for sleep tests. Deterred from hiring an adequate number of technicians by the inconsistency of the referrals, labs often become an obstacle to their own success.  Reimbursements for polysomnograms also have been cut, creating some degree of turmoil in the current medical model.

Solutions #6  –  By exposing the large numbers of patients who need to be tested and diagnosing them with validated home studies,  certified sleep physicians will be very actively interpreting these studies.  In addition, many patients with severe sleep apnea who require CPAP titration studies in sleep labs will be identified.  Now the  labs will be busy treating the patients that need CPAP, and more patients will be served.