Speaker spotlight: Be aware of dentists

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Sleep dentists are fast becoming a new identifier of hundreds if not thousands of sleep disordered patients, not all of whom will be suitable for oral appliance therapy, says Medtrade speaker Daniel Brown.

In his session at the show, “Dentists in the Sleep Lab - Venturing with Sleep Dentists for PAP Opportunities,” Brown, an attorney with Taylor English Duma LLP, will address the role of the dentist in identifying patients with sleep breathing disorders and the opportunity for traditional PAP suppliers to work with dentists and sleep doctors to provide PAP in this new channel. 

HME News: How do dentists identify people with possible sleep disorders? 

Daniel Brown: Dentists typically treat the entire family, and can hear about snoring or other OSA markers from family members or directly from the patient.

HME: What kind of arrangements can HME providers strike up with dentists?

Brown: HME providers could enter into management agreements with dentists to manage the dentist’s sleep dentistry program, provide the oral appliance to the dentists on a wholesale basis, and provide scheduling, billing and education, and leverage off of the HME provider’s existing sleep physician relationships.

HME: What rules do HME providers need to be aware of that govern such arrangements with dentists?

Brown: Dentists and sleep physicians typically cannot practice together under corporate practice of dentistry rules, and Stark would prohibit physician referrals of Medicare oral appliances through the joint practice. 

HME: Are sleep disorders on the radar of most dentists?

Brown: General dentists are not wholly aware of sleep medicine, and the barriers to entry are becoming higher as insurance companies are making it more difficult to enroll dentists on their panels for oral appliance therapy.

HME: What’s the most important thing you want attendees to take away from your session?

Brown: To be aware of dentists’ entry into sleep medicine, as both a competitor and a potential source of business.