The good news/bad news about sleep

Sunday, October 31, 2010

MURRYSVILLE, Pa.  - It doesn't look like the sleep market in the United States is going to slow down anytime soon.

"That is bad for society, in one sense, but it's an opportunity to bring our solutions to bear and improve the lives of people," Eoghan O'Lionaird, senior vice president, sleep, for Philips Respironics told HME News TV.

Growth for CPAP and other products for sleep disordered breathing sits in the high-single to low double-digits in the United States, and "we anticipate that, for the years ahead, to continue," O'Lionaird said.

The industry's well aware that growth of that magnitude scares Medicare and other payers. But the alternative--reducing reimbursement and access--will have the reverse effect, given the number of co-morbidities (obesity, diabetes and congestive heart failure, for example) associated with sleep disordered breathing, say O'Lionaird and others.

"I think the research is compelling that by treating sleep apnea effectively, we can reduce the costs and improve people's lives," O'Lionaird said. "One way or another, we have got to find a way to help legislators understand the benefits of the therapies we bring on lives as well as (on) the cost to the overall healthcare system."

To see the full interview with O'Lionaird, go to