Sleeping giant

Friday, April 26, 2013

Provider Dana Voien says upcoming guidelines from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will have a positive effect on CPAP providers and truck drivers alike. The president of SleepSafe Drivers in Laguna Nigel, Calif., says it’s important for providers to tailor a sleep management program to the needs of the transportation industry. Voien shared his thoughts recently with HME News.

HME News: How big of a market are we talking about?

Dana Voien: There are about 6 million commercial driver license (CDL) holders and more than one-quarter of them should be tested per the FMCSA’s expected guidelines. As a result, the number of sleep diagnostic tests (in-lab studies and home sleep tests) done annually could increase from about 1.4 million today to about 2.2 million tests annually.

HME: How big of a role will home sleep tests play?

Voien: We’ve learned that they need testing to be particularly time and cost efficient for CDL holders, or they are pulled from the road. Quick turnaround times aren’t such a critical factor with regular “citizens” who aren’t guiding an 80,000-pound truck. We specialize in home sleep tests that can be delivered to the driver right in the terminal in the evening, and picked up and downloaded in the morning. We get the interpretation in two hours vs. two to three days, and we can have them treated and trained and back on the road all in the same day.

HME: We know the benefits to truckers of getting treated. What are the benefits to trucking companies?

Voien: Untreated drivers are three to seven times more likely to crash. If there are guidelines suggesting that fleets should do X or Y to enhance safety, and they are not following those, than there’s much more likelihood of (being found) negligent in a lawsuit if there’s a crash.