In this article you'll learn:
In a sleep center your sleep will be tested to determine if you have a sleep disorder. Sleep testing involves sleeping for a night at the sleep center, while a device called a polysomnograph records your sleep.
In some cases, the sleep technicians may ask you to stay for part of the next day to take a multiple sleep latency test (MSLT), where they will measure how long it takes to fall asleep during daytime.
From the results of the sleep apnea test, the sleep specialist will:
First of all, you need to find an accredited sleep clinic. Even if you know excellent non-accredited sleep disorders centers, having that accreditation means that your clinic is held to a certain standard, and that a boarded sleep physician reviews your study.
These days there are a lot of fly-by-night sleep study labs who are doing the study and take the money from the patient, and then he is sent to other "doctor" or sleep lab for evaluation. And then other money to spend...
Here are some links that will help you find accredited sleep disorders centers:
How can you find if the sleep study center and the sleep doctor are accredited? Call the Association of Sleep Medicine from your country or your state medical society, and ask them for the nearest accredited sleep specialist or sleep testing center.
If you live in USA, contact the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) to locate your nearest sleep center.
Your prime focus should be the quality and experience of the sleep physician. Finding the specialist with board certification will be ideal, but after all, this certificate is a piece of paper on display.
What is important in a sleep specialist is the level of personal attention and amount of time spent on each case, and the ability to analyze the problem in correct ways.
However, a person appears to be a great health specialist, but turns out to be just another doctor. In the end, it will ultimately depend upon your personal judgment during the preliminary rounds of consultation, to choose the best sleep doctor.
You should also chech around your area, or on the internet, to see if there are any local apnea support groups. You could learn from the members about their experience with sleep doctors and sleep disorders centers, and how satisfied they are.
A sleep study done in sleep disorders centers can vary from $1700 to approximately $3500. In addition, the sleep doctor can charge you to read, interpret and sign the test, and it can be between $100 to $400.
Sometimes your sleep test will be done in two nights: one night for evaluation and one night for titration. In this case, the price can go up, almost doubling.
It's obvious that if you don't have health insurance, it will be very difficult to pay for the sleep studies. Keep in mind though, that people with no health insurance should be able to negotiate a far lower amount than is generally charged to insurance.
If you have health insurance, you may need to choose a sleep lab that is in your company's network. So call your insurance company and find out which local sleep disorders centers are in the network.
Remember that you are entitled to a full and complete copy of the sleep study, and a copy of the script. Make copies of them.
Make sure that you don't have a specific brand or type of the CPAP machine or mask on the order. Your comfort is what matters, and you will want to choose the equipment that works for you.
Bottom line... You shouldn't use a sleep diagnostic center where you don't have a consultation with the sleep doctor, and a full and clear explanation of your study results by the doctor or by one of his technicians.
Furthermore, you should avoid sleep disorders centers where you don't consult with the sleep doctor before your equipment script is written and given to you.