Economics of Home Sleep Testing

It is no secret that healthcare costs are escalating in the United States.  Many people do not realize that treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is one way to both improve patient wellness and reduce overall healthcare costs. 

Home sleep testing vs. sleep center testing

Some facts to consider:

  • Approximately 3.5 million diagnostic OSA sleep tests are ordered each year
  • As of the beginning of 2013, 10-15% of those sleep tests were performed at home
  • In reality, 80% of all sleep center tests are actually appropriate for home testing 

Based on average sleep center testing costs , we estimate that roughly $4.3 billion dollars is spent on sleep center testing each year.  Home sleep tests typically are a fraction of the cost.  If we can move even 50% of all sleep tests into the home, we would realize billions of dollars in healthcare savings in the U.S. 

As you might imagine, many of our country’s top insurance companies have done this math and would like to move between 60% and 80% of all sleep tests into the home over the next 3-5 years. Other industry stakeholders are also projecting home sleep testing to grow to 50% of the market by 2014 (Source: ResMed at the JPM Healthcare Conference, Jan 2013).  Today, AccuSom® is currently covered for more than 150 million commercially insured U.S. lives. 

The costs of untreated OSA

Approximately 43 million Americans suffer from OSA.  Unfortunately, over 85% of those people do not know they have it.  Because OSA frequently coexists with other health issues, such as obesity, depression, diabetes, stroke, hypertension, heart disease, and erectile dysfunction, leaving it untreated can aggravate these conditions. 

Studies show that patients with untreated OSA average more physician visits and hospitalizations than other patients.  The good news is that simply identifying those patients and treating their OSA immediately reduces those numbers.  Patients who begin treatment for OSA typically see a near 40% reduction in hospitalizations in their first year of treatment and a near 53% reduction in hospitalizations in their second year of treatment.  Physician visits also drop approximately 32% after two years of treatment for OSA, further demonstrating that treating OSA has a broad impact on the patient’s overall health and wellness. Untreated OSA patients generated two times the healthcare cost as those that received therapy. 

Learn more

If you are a patient, please visit the Patient section of our website to learn more about OSA and home testing. 

If you are a physician or healthcare professional, please visit the Professionals section of our website to learn more about how AccuSom can fit into your practice.