According to the National Institute of Health, sleep apnea affects more than twelve million Americans. SOMC’s Sleep Diagnostic Center offers a CPAP education clinic to provide sleep apnea patients with the ability to manage their disease process and to increase CPAP therapy compliance.
“Medicare’s guidelines require documentation of compliance within three months of treatment initiation for the patient to continue CPAP therapy,” Michelle Lyons, supervisor of Sleep Disorders at Southern Ohio Medical Center, said. “Therefore, it is important to help patients better understand their machines and the therapy itself so that they will feel more comfortable with the process and be more likely to utilize the treatment.”
A physician order is required for patients to begin the 12-month process. It does not have to be the physician who ordered the patient’s sleep study. Participants will meet with a Respiratory Therapist at one month, three months, six months and 12 month intervals after treatment begins. Compliance checks will be performed, documented and a follow-up summary will be forwarded to the referring physician.
“Patients often feel overwhelmed when they get their CPAP equipment,” Lyons said. “Our goal is to be a resource and to provide education for anyone with sleep apnea, hopefully resulting in increased compliance and reducing their anxiety about the therapy.”
There are several long-term health consequences of untreated sleep apnea such as high blood pressure, increased risk of stroke and heart attack, memory problems, headaches, weight gain and in some cases, diabetes. Untreated sleep apnea can result in sleepiness during the day that may be responsible for job impairment and motor vehicle accidents.
The educational clinic is open to any patient currently on treatment with mask fitting or toleration issues as well as newly diagnosed and those who have just begun treatment for sleep apnea.
For more information, please contact Michelle Lyons at the SOMC Sleep Diagnostic Center by calling (740) 356-8822.