Patient comfort boosts compliance, business

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

WASHINGTON - Taking a closer look at CPAP compliance could boost benefits for patients and providers alike. That's what Jill Glenn, CEO of Arete NW, a provider of sleep therapy services, told listeners during a June AAHomecare teleconference.
A standard of success for CPAP use is defined as more than five hours per night, five nights per week, she said.
"That might sound pretty good, but when I calculate it out, that means they're compliant only 104 nights per year or 28% of their sleep time," said Glenn.
Follow-up care is important in boosting CPAP compliance rates, she said. On-site visits should be conducted at one, three, six and 12 months, and follow-up phone calls should be made a minimum of two to four times during the patient's first four-week cycle.
It's important to use consistent documentation and ask consistent questions to better track a patient's improvement over time, she added.
Glenn cautioned against simply trying to sell supplies when calling CPAP patients. Instead, it is a good way to measure how the patient is doing. "(Ask) 'Are you having leaks? Is the headgear sliding?'" she suggested.
That kind of problem solving gives the patient a better CPAP experience, making them more likely to continue using the machine, she said.