Mease Countryside Sleep Disorders Center Offering Home Delivery of Sleep Test
For a person who is sleep deprived, a long drive to a sleep center for in-lab testing or pickup of a home test might not make sense. The Mease Countryside Sleep Disorders Center now offers another option: home delivery.
Home delivery began Aug. 24 and is available with a doctor’s order to diagnose moderate to severe sleep apnea.
“So many free-standing sleep centers did not survive the COVID-19 closures, so we have patients coming to Mease Countryside from Polk, Pasco, St. Petersburg and other surrounding areas,’’ said Marietta Bibbs, system manager of sleep disorders for BayCare. “We’re trying to give them as many options as possible.’’
Mease Countryside offers an on-line training video and a 24-hour customer service line for those who select the new home-delivery option.
Patients are shipped the testing device, a small recorder connected by cables to a belt, an oximeter and a nasal cannula. The belt wraps around the patient’s abdomen and measures breathing effort. The oximeter measures oxygen levels and pulse rate. The cannula measures airflow from the nose to determine if the patient is breathing. The test does not monitor brain waves and cannot diagnose sleep disorders other than sleep apnea.
Detailed written instructions for connecting the equipment are included with the device along with a copy of a liability form, the return policy, a UPS return label and a documentation log for patients to assess their night’s sleep.
Results of the test indicate the number of apnea events during recorded time, the duration of the apneas and the type of apnea. A board-certified sleep physician interprets the results and prepares a report for the referring physician.
There are several advantages to home testing:
- No wait time for an appointment means a faster diagnosis
- More convenient
- Less expensive than in-center testing
- Patients sleep better in their home environment
Home delivery is through UPS and a package is provided for the patient to return the device. Testing is covered by Medicare and most insurance plans. Pediatric patients (under 18) and adult patients with certain co-morbidities do not qualify for home sleep testing.
Mease Countryside also offers pickup of the home testing device for those who prefer to have hands-on training before taking it home.
For some patients, especially those with certain cardiac, breathing or neuromuscular problems, in-center testing is the best option. Overnight sleep studies measure brain waves and provide a more thorough analysis of sleep issues. There are hundreds of types of sleep disorders, but the home device only tests for sleep apnea.
Right now, though, the demand for in-center testing exceeds the supply. Mease Countryside has six beds and handles 42 patients a week, but appointments are backlogged and being scheduled into January 2021.
Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, BayCare had nine active sleep centers with sites at Bardmoor, Bartow Regional Medical Center, BayCare Outpatient Center (Westchase), Morton Plant Hospital, Morton Plant North Bay Hospital, St. Anthony’s Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital South and St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital along with Mease Countryside. Only Mease Countryside and St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital re-opened, and Women’s is only testing pediatric patients.
“We recognize there aren’t as many options for community members at this time,’’ said Bob Hayward, director of respiratory, sleep and neuro for BayCare. “That’s why the home delivery sleep test offered at Mease Countryside is such a vital resource.’’
In the United States, an estimated 40 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders ranging from insomnia to sleep apnea. A large percentage of disorders go undiagnosed and untreated, leading to a decline in overall health, wellness and productivity for the individual.
For more information on the Mease Countryside Sleep Disorders Center and home sleep testing, call (727) 725-6455.