Information For Referring Physicians
Procedure for referring patients to a Sleep for Life Center:
- Once precertification/authorization has been obtained from the patient’s insurance company, the patient should contact the center during the usual business hours to make an appointment.
- The doctor’s office should fax the prescription and most recent consultation notes to the center. Regular prescriptions also should be faxed, since some insurance companies still mandate the old style of prescription.
- Patients will be given detailed instructions on the phone and an information packet will be sent to the patient prior to the date of the sleep study.
- Patients will be instructed to report to the appropriate area on the night of their testing.
- All patients have a private bedroom, bathroom and cable TV.
- Patients will be notified that a preliminary report will be faxed to their physician the morning after their sleep study (with the exception of patients seen over the weekend, which will be faxed on Monday morning).
- Full sleep study reports will be made available as soon as possible and sent to referring physician’s office.
Follow-up appointments for implementation of CPAP therapy and other related services:
- Patients who have been identified with significant sleep-disordered breathing (Apnea-Hypopnea Index > 40 events/hr of sleep; severe SaO2 desaturation events) on their first night of diagnostic testing will typically receive therapy for their sleep-disordered breathing on the same night (“split-night study”).
- Treatment recommendations will be made based upon this information once it is analyzed and interpreted by one of our physicians.
- If the patient has severe sleep-disordered breathing, but there was not sufficient time to implement therapy during the first testing session (<4 hours remained for testing once severity was determined by the technologist), then a repeat sleep study with CPAP or bilevel therapy is indicated.
- If CPAP or bilevel therapy is indicated for the patient’s sleep-disordered breathing (Apnea-Hypopnea Index > 15 events/hr of sleep, or AHI > 5 events/hr of sleep with clinical history of cardiac disease, neurologic disorder, and/or cognitive decrements), the patient should be scheduled for a repeat sleep )study with CPAP or bilevel therapy in the sleep laboratory.
- Similar precertification/authorization procedures and registration procedures will be followed (see details above).
- Analysis and interpretation of CPAP studies will follow similar procedures for diagnostic testing (see details above).
Ordering CPAP/bilevel equipment and follow-up with clinical management program for sleep apnea patients:
- Referring physician may indicate on Sleep Study Prescription form that they would like Sleep for Life to contact appropriate DME company to set up patient with their equipment.
- Referring physician also may indicate preference for patient to participate in our clinical management program for sleep apnea patients to enhance patient/family education about diagnosis and treatment and to work with the patient to overcome barriers to compliance with therapy (e.g., claustrophobic response to mask, difficulty wearing and/or using CPAP apparatus, change in requirements for CPAP pressure). Registered respiratory therapists are present for all CPAP appointments and are able to address these compliance issues in a comfortable, relaxing environment.
- Information regarding patient compliance will be sent to referring physicians.
For a referral to an appropriate sleep medicine physician, call 888-SFL-REST.