National Sleep Therapy knows the score

Friday, July 27, 2012

CONCORD, N.H. – Just because a patient is using a CPAP machine every night, doesn’t mean he benefits from it, says Eric Cohen, president of National Sleep Therapy (NST).

So the provider developed a “CPAP outcome score,” which combines both objective device data like usage, and subjective patient data like whether the patient is feeling better.

“If we just look at the hour usage it doesn’t always paint a complete picture of CPAP therapy impact or efficacy,” said Cohen. “We see patients using it six, seven or eight hours but their AHI is still higher than it should be. If someone is on CPAP and they are still having issues we want to know about it so we can reach out and help them.”

To obtain the patient information, NST uses a combination of three standard industry questionnaires: The Epworth Sleepiness Scale, the FOSQ-10 and the STOP-BANG. NST then runs all the information through an algorithm to create a score.

Patients fall into one of three buckets: compliant, required monitoring and required intervention, Cohen said. That allows the healthcare team to act accordingly.

“We think it’s a better way to look at patients and it’s a much more cost effective and transparent way to pay for health care,” said Cohen.

NST has already begun pushing the value of the CPAP outcome score to its referral sources, said Cohen. It’s yet another way to set NST apart from the competition.

“Physicians are busy,” he said. “If we can make their lives easier and help them manage their patients, that’s a good thing.”