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  • Need suggestions on having a sleep study for sleep apnea.

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    Old 08-03-2007, 12:26 PM   #1
    slipperyslope
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    Need suggestions on having a sleep study for sleep apnea.

    Hello all I have a really bad problem with snoring and with sleep apnea. my hubby tells me I stop breathing during the night and choke and gasp all night long and I feel really bad in the mornings. I went to my GP and he referred me to a sleep clinic and a lung Dr. I saw the Dr and he set me up an apt at the sleep clinic at a hospital where I stay over night. The problem is my insurance will not pay for it as my deductible is very high and has to be met before they pay for this. the cost for one night in the sleep study clinic is 2,400.00 and I need to go 2 nights. one for the initial study and the 2nd one to make sure the mask is helping and doing its job. I also have to pay another 900.00 to have the information read twice by the sleep Dr who is also a lung Dr who specializes in sleep disorders, so I am looking at a LOT of money here that I don't have, it sucks as I pay 400.00 a month for insurance and they won't even pay for this until I meet my large deductible... bummer huh....
    my pain Dr mentioned to me that I can go to a place called Aeroflow and get all the equipment I need to take home with me and it monitors me while I sleep the same way as if I were in the hospital, the pain Dr said it does the same thing and that there is no need to go to the hospital for this and spend all that money. But he is a pain Dr not a lung and breathing specialist so I don't know if I should take his word on this or not. The machine I take home checks my heart rate, blood pressure, monitors my snoring, apnea and tells how many times I quit breathing during the night, the cost for this is 350.00 total. BIG DIFFERENCE?. I will have to pay for my breathing machine of coarse and mask but that is to be expected..... if I go to aeroflow where they send me home with the machine that keeps track of my vitals and such, it is not going to be read by my Dr but my another sleep Dr who specializes in this field... I have put a call into the original Dr that referred me to the sleep hospital clinic and am going to ask him his opinion on this type of testing. Does anyone know if its as good as going into a hospital. I know that it won't measure my brain waves but it does everything else, are we talking hot dogs vs.. filet mingon? I want to do the best thing for myself but if the home machine is as good I would rather sleep in my own bed and not be watched all night. I think I am paying the sleep clinic to watch me sleep all night and for me to be admitted into a hospital cost money. if I can do this at home it would be much nicer and so much cheaper but I don't wan to chince out on my health and I need to get to the bottom of my apnea and get my CPAP machine. I just don't have 6,000.00 to spend. the pain Dr said aeroflow is great and they will do a great job and he said its the same thing as what is done in the hospital but I am sure the hospital is much more thorough and checks you out more. what are your opinions on this and where did you have your test done? if you had it done at home than this is the same equipment I will be using... help, is so appreciated!!! Thanks in advance.

    SS

     
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    Old 08-03-2007, 01:34 PM   #2
    mkgb
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    Re: Need suggestions on having a sleep study for sleep apnea.

    Alright. First the amount quoted seems high. Here we are charged between 1500 and 1600 a night. And the data analysis is included on this fee. The sleep specialist reads the information and interprets it as part of your office fee. My sleep specialist is a cardiologist. Sleep specialist is a specialization on another field.

    I would ask for a referal to alternative clinics. Call around and see where you can get the lower price at an ABSM sleep clinic. Then take that information to your GP.. your insurance should apply the cost of the sleep study and any required processing to your deductable.

    I have no experience with the Aeroflow that you are discussing. But the one thing that the machine testing they do will not produce is the neurological EKG data. Thus they may be able to tell when you stop gasping and what you O2 blood flow saturation levels are but they will not be able to tell what actual stages of sleep you are achieving and how long your are staying in the various stages.

    Also you need to check and see if the insurance will cover the CPAP or BiPAP prescription without the sleep study.. otherwise you are looking at a minimum of 130 dollars a month for a year for the machine alone.. this doesn't include the costs for the tubing, and mask as well as replacement mask, tubing, and reserviors every 2-6 months. Buying your equipment on-line is often cheaper than going through a medical distributer, but you then have to file the insurance reimbursements yourself.

    Hope this helps.
    Sincerely,
    MG
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    Old 08-04-2007, 08:40 AM   #3
    slipperyslope
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    Re: Need suggestions on having a sleep study for sleep apnea.

    thanks so much for your reply. I am going to do just that and call around as even my Dr was shocked when I told him there fee, so that means its to high and it is, as he told me before hand it would be 1,200.00 per night, this place is charging to much.....

    I have another question about your CPAP machine. you mentioned a rental fee of 130.00 a month, I thought I was going to buy and own the machine, why would I have to pay a rental fee of a 130.00 what does that cover and why is that necessary. I am learning a lot about sleep apnea and I can't wait to get my machine and sleep through the night. my poor husband is so exhausted from listenig to me snore all night long and choke and sputter. he actually recorded me and I heard it and I sound like an old man who is 400 lbs snoring the way I do. it is so HORRIFIC and loud. I am anxious to get this fixed and see just how bad my apnea really is. from what I have been reading and from talking to my Dr yesterday, he told me that the home studies are not as good and that I need to go into an actual sleep clinic and get this test done vs doing the home machines. they don't record brain wave activities and don't determine which type of apnea I might have so I am not going to go with the 350.00 sleep study at home. There are some studies being done on them and my Dr told me they might eventually not be around as they don't really work to well... ( of coarse he wants my business so I have to realize that to) If I find a cheaper sleep clinic I am going to call him and tell him that the clinic he is aphiliated with is over charging and that here rates are out of line. I really like this Dr and want to stick with him but he only works at one clinic so I will have to find another Dr. he is a pulmonary Dr who has a speciality in sleep medicine so he is the right man for the job and he is sooo nice, which I really like... but he is not worth me paying that extra money....

    Thanks again, I would love to hear from others what the sleep clinic is like, are you able to actually sleep? I am afraid I won't be able to with all the wiring on me... I am also a bit nervous about the whole thing. its a lot of money and a big expense for me but I have to do it, and insurance will not pay for it. I am going to see if the clinic will set up a payment plan with me with no interest or I will put it on a zero interest credit card as I don't want to pay a ridicoulous interest fee when I have perfect credit...What have others done as far as payment plans, do they offer them and do they charge interest?
    Thanks, SS

    Last edited by slipperyslope; 08-04-2007 at 08:46 AM.

     
    Old 08-17-2007, 08:25 AM   #4
    Alex24
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    Re: Need suggestions on having a sleep study for sleep apnea.

    When I went for my sleep study, they told me it would be a 'split' study, the first part sleeping to determine my apneas, then during the night try on the mask and cpap equipment. The Dr. then does the analysis and recommends the settings for your equipment. This can be done in one night. I would ask about the split study.

     
    Old 08-17-2007, 11:35 AM   #5
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    Re: Need suggestions on having a sleep study for sleep apnea.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by slipperyslope View Post
    thanks so much for your reply. I am going to do just that and call around as even my Dr was shocked when I told him there fee, so that means its to high and it is, as he told me before hand it would be 1,200.00 per night, this place is charging to much.....
    You may be limited to what clinic your insurance company will cover....you might want to call the insurance company and see what clinics they recommend and which clinics they'd reimburse you for. (I was unhappy with the first sleep specialist I saw, called my insurance company and they gave me other specialists in the state that I could see. I found one I was happy with who had a clinic about an hour or so away). I just checked my records and it looks as if the most my insurance company was charged was about 1300.00. I had an overnight study done and several follow up visits.

    Quote:
    I have another question about your CPAP machine. you mentioned a rental fee of 130.00 a month, I thought I was going to buy and own the machine, why would I have to pay a rental fee of a 130.00 what does that cover and why is that necessary....
    My insurance company required me to rent the machine for 3 months (they paid for this) before buying it. They called me the second month and asked me some questions about how I used my machine. I was using it 100% and during naps so they "bought" it for me shortly after that phone call. But that sweet little machine cost my insurance company more than my sleep study and follow up visits did. No complaints, here, as it changed my life and I will not sleep without it!

    Quote:
    ... he told me that the home studies are not as good and that I need to go into an actual sleep clinic and get this test done vs doing the home machines. they don't record brain wave activities and don't determine which type of apnea I might have so I am not going to go with the 350.00 sleep study at home...
    I am relieved to know that you are going to have the extensive sleep study done. If you've done your reading, you know that sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure, aggravate panic, anxiety, and depression, contribute to asthma and acid reflux, and cause/aggravate heart conditions. This is not a conditon you want to take short cuts with!!!! You would be penny wise and pound foolish to do so. And although sleeping with a machine takes some people time to get used to, the quality of life issues make it worth the effort.

    Quote:
    ...Thanks again, I would love to hear from others what the sleep clinic is like, are you able to actually sleep? I am afraid I won't be able to with all the wiring on me...
    I slept from 8 am until noon the very day of my study (you should not take naps the day of your study), but despite this, I fell asleep within 2 minutes of laying down on the hospital bed...I was told that although some people worry about not being able to fall asleep, it usually isn't a problem. And strangely enough, I had the best night's sleep in MONTHS the night of the sleep study. They say, too, that this isn't uncommon. It may be that knowing that you're going to get help with your sleep reduces your stress and makes you sleep better...but I don't know.

    Quote:
    I am also a bit nervous about the whole thing. its a lot of money and a big expense for me but I have to do it, and insurance will not pay for it. I am going to see if the clinic will set up a payment plan with me with no interest or I will put it on a zero interest credit card as I don't want to pay a ridicoulous interest fee when I have perfect credit...What have others done as far as payment plans, do they offer them and do they charge interest?
    Thanks, SS
    I am now uninsured and have found that the payment plans depend on the clinic. I've been given the third degree by some clinics (obgyn, for instance) when they find out I'm a self pay...but when they check my credit (it's excellent), there's no problem and I get a discount at some clinics for paying cash.

    But again, the money is NOTHING compared to the quality of life you may experience with treatment. Am glad to know that you're going to get the care you need.

    Bethsheba

    PS My sleep "clinic" was on a wing of a hospital floor...but it looked like and felt like a hotel room. From what I understand, they want you to sleep as well as possible so the environment is quite relaxing.

    Last edited by bethsheba; 08-17-2007 at 11:40 AM. Reason: quotes

     
    Old 08-17-2007, 11:41 AM   #6
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    Re: Need suggestions on having a sleep study for sleep apnea.

    Alex,

    That was my experience, also.

    Bethsheba

     
    Old 08-18-2007, 05:09 PM   #7
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    Re: Need suggestions on having a sleep study for sleep apnea.

    I had my first sleep study about a week ago at a sleep study center. Like other posters have mentioned, it was quite nice....rather like a hotel room with a remote control t.v., chair to sit and read and a comfortable queen size bed. I too have to agree that the "cheaper version" of the sleep study done at home couldn't possibly get the kind of information that the full study could give your doc. I had more wires glued to my head than an over-worked 10-way extension cord!!! I use oxygen at home because I have COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and they had to fit two other monitoring devices in my nasal passages BESIDES the regular oxygen! I just can't imagine how an "at home" measuring device could work well for you. Anyway, I really kind of doubted my doctor's (and husband's) suspicions that I had sleep apnea. We left for vacation the day after my sleep study and I got a phone call on my cell about 2 days later. The center told me that my doc had gotten the results and that I did have severe apnea. They wanted me to schedule an appointment to come back for another night to be fitted with the CPAP machine. I think I'll be going back this coming week. I'm very new to sleep apnea and haven't done any research on it. I do know that I'm exhausted almost 24/7, I've put on almost 100lbs. in a year, my chronic pain has gotten much worse, I'm more depressed and can't seem to focus on anything anymore and my lung disease and inability to catch my breath has been a huge problem. I just feel totally "unwell"! I logged on to this particular healthboard subject to try and learn from others who have been diagnosed with this problem. All the best - Memere (pronounced - Mi-May)

     
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