The Boston Globe article, “Insurers Push Clinic Sleep Testing into Homes,” discusses the final CEPAC report, Diagnosis and Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Adults. This report is based on CEPAC’s votes and deliberation during its December meeting, which highlighted the comparative effectiveness and value of home sleep testing for the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea over other alternatives.
“Sleep HealthCenters, a chain of sleep clinics that included 11 in Massachusetts, cited the drop in insurance payments when it closed suddenly last week, leaving nearly 150 employees looking for work. Sleep medicine physicians say the change, which is likely to spread to other states, has occurred too quickly for them to adjust their business models and that insurers have taken it to an extreme, cutting some patients off from tests their doctors think they need. But a report released last week estimated that shifting three-quarters of the tests to the home could save New England’s health care system about $35 million a year.
Though workers have lost their jobs, the change in sleep testing is a prime example of the kind of shift — the replacement of an outmoded and expensive health care service with a cheaper technology — that’s necessary to control health care costs, said Austin Frakt, a Boston University health economist. ‘If we’re really going to save money in health care, it means that somebody’s going to get paid less,’ said Frakt, a member of the New England Comparative Effectiveness Public Advisory Council, which issued the report. ‘Maybe some of the ways of delivering health care just won’t be viable.’ “
Read the full article here.