Ready to Be Evaluated?
The traditional approach to evaluation involves a physician assessment, testing if deemed indicated and post test review and recommendations. If a disorder of sleep were diagnosed, such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea, then long-term follow up would be needed.
The traditional approach is under strain. The large number of individual with sleep apnea and the significant medical complications it causes taxes the care system. The number of sleep physicians is relatively small and is not growing rapidly. The result is that there are too many patients and not enough time. Fortunately, more non-sleep physicians are learning about sleep and can assist in patient’s care. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are entering the field.
Testing has improved. Testing in the home is now widely available and encouraged. Many individuals still require testing in the sleep center facility. Unfortunately, some insurance plans, for example Medicare, require sleep physicians to see and order all test on their patients for the services to be covered.
Post testing and long-term care follow up is a problem due to the limited number of providers to perform those services. Patients with obstructive sleep apnea may need therapy with medical devices. These devices require a physician’s or provider’s prescription. Patients must be their own advocates to be sure they get needed care.
In the future there may be easier methods to have your sleep problems addressed, but at present the traditional approach through your physician or health care provider is the best.
Selecting a Physician
The choosing of a physician can be a difficult task. Multiple factors will play a role in your decision.
Ask friends who have seen a sleep physician for their recommendations
If you have a trusted physician, ask whom they would recommend or if they can help with the problem.
Review your insurance to identify sleep physicians who are contracted.
Look at the Internet site of the physicians you are considering.
Look up the physicians on the American Academy of Sleep Medicines web site.
Check with your state medical board for the physicians you are considering.
Check which sleep centers the physicians you are considering work at or with to perform testing.
Selecting a Sleep Center
Choosing a sleep center – Sometimes it is better to choose a center for evaluation rather than an individual physician. This is particularly true if the center has it own physician who see and care for patients. They may practice under the sleep center business or they may have their own practices.
Need further information before proceeding?
Want to have a more in depth self-evaluation?
- See our affiliated Sleep Self Help site for a more comprehensive evaluation. (Coming 2020)
Updated Jan 2020