Provider takes wheel

Monday, June 30, 2008

HARRISBURG, Pa.--One CPAP provider who stays ahead of the curve is Todd Cressler. Last year, the president and CEO of CressCare Medical formed CressCare Wellness and contracted with a local trucking company to provide OSA screening and treatment for its 600 employees.

CressCare provides the initial risk assessment and has contracts with sleep labs to provide necessary sleep studies at specially negotiated rates.

If a trucker is found to have sleep apnea, CressCare handles the treatment.

“We get them onto CPAP and follow up via smart cards and some other protocols we’ve put into place,” said Cressler.

CressCare Wellness handles all of the billing in the form of one global bill, cutting down on paperwork costs.

The trucking company self-funds the program, rather than going through its insurance, to keep its costs down, said Cressler.

“It’s about a 30% savings for them to pay directly,” he said.

Cressler recently did a presentation for the Pennsylvania Motor Trucking Association. He also meets with insurance companies to educate them on the importance of treating OSA.

Sedentary jobs, combined with poor eating and sleeping habits, put truckers at a higher risk for sleep apnea then the general population. The Department of Transportation is proposing new guidelines for treating and diagnosing the disease as a condition of being allowed to drive (See story page 31).

Until the new DOT regulations are finalized, most trucking companies have a wait-and-see attitude, said Cressler.

“Trucking is a tough business, with low margins,” said Cressler. “Trucking companies can’t afford to have employees not working, nor can the employee afford to not work.”