For Referring Physicians

We are dedicated to providing reliable assistance to physicians who turn to us for help and for their patients with sleep-related illnesses. You can easily reach us to discuss either individual patients or our diagnostic/ treatment approaches, either by our contact form or by calling us at (614) 854-0300.

A LETTER FROM US TO REFERRING PHYSICIANS

Dear Colleague:

This exciting new field has achieved tremendous advances that can help patients and save lives. At the same time, it has developed what we personally view as serious quality problems.

Sleep centers are springing up everywhere, but a number of them give poor care and may leave your patients without effective treatment, to both your and their potential detriment.

Some of their deficiencies are as follows:

    • Patients are not seen or tested promptly.
    • The sleep specialist does not review overnight recordings for days or weeks after their completion.
    • Patients cannot get the results of their tests for weeks or even months, leaving those with severe sleep apnea and other serious disorders at ongoing risk of potentially irreversible complications.
    • Patients sleep so poorly during their overnight recordings that the results are not adequate as a basis for treatment.
    • The evaluations fail to show problems that would have been reasonably predicted by patients’ histories and their family members’ observations, but the sleep physicians ignore the latter, regarding their test results as definitive.
    • Patients do not receive adequate support by the sleep center. They cannot contact its physician for help.
    • The sleep center operates a durable medical equipment division and sells treatments: a seeming Stark violation that could result in your patients being treated with the most profitable devices for the center instead of what they need.
    • The sleep center operates at multiple locations, diluting its resources and preventing individualized care.
    • At some sleep centers operated by corporations who set up and operate sleep facilities for medical practices, there is little to no oversight by sleep specialists, and technologists are placed in the unacceptable position of having to direct patient care: in other words, they are being forced to practice medicine without a license.
    • The sleep center forces all of its night technologists to monitor two, three or even more patients simultaneously–a practice that lessens the quality of testing and places the health and safety of your seriously ill patients in jeopardy.
    • Technologists are not permitted to call the sleep physician during the night when patients are doing poorly.
    • The sleep center is run as a “sideline” profit center and not by experienced, full-time sleep specialists.
    • The sleep center offers testing for basic problems only and cannot detect nor test for more complex diagnoses.
    • The center manages sleep apnea as would have been appropriate twenty years ago: a serious problem given the high prevalence of central apneas, a common cause of CPAP non-compliance.
    • Central apneas emerging on CPAP that can render treatment compliance impossible for patients are left untreated.

We believe that it is crucial that patients receive proper care the first time. Why? Sleep apnea appears more prevalent than either diabetes or asthma in men over 40, it afflicts far more women and children than previously recognized, and it can kill its victims–usually gradually, with heart attacks, heart failure and strokes.

If your patients seek help at a nearby sleep center for convenience and are left untreated, many will give up and no longer seek help. Also, their insurance benefits may be exhausted. In fact, one of Ohio’s largest insurers covers only two overnight recordings per patient per year.

We are committed to ensuring that your patients can receive the skilled help that they need. We want the buck to stop at our sleep center. We can provide you with screening, informational and referral materials for use by your practice. And we are readily available to discuss our approach to sleep medicine and individual cases with you.

Sincerely,

Dr. Eskender Getachew
Medical Director
The Regional Neurology and Sleep Medicine Institute