You Are Having a Sleep Test
You are undergoing overnight sleep testing to determine if you have a sleep disorder called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the upper airway becomes narrow or closed as the muscles relax naturally during sleep. This causes an apnea or stoppage in the breathing, which causes low oxygen in the blood and results in frequent awakening from sleep. While there is no charge for the sleep test, it is important for you to know that Alberta Health Care does not cover it. The results of your sleep study will be sent to a specialist for interpretation. This interpretation will then be sent to the doctor who requested this test.
If your test determines that you have Obstructive Sleep Apnea:
- Your Doctor may prescribe a CPAP/AutoPAP machine for you. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. It is a small machine with a mask that delivers a stream of compressed air via a hose to a nasal mask splinting the airway open so that unobstructed breathing becomes possible.
- The cost of the CPAP/AutoPAP equipment is about $1700 to $2500. Is not covered by Alberta Health Care however; a private health insurance company such as Blue Cross, Great West Life or Sun Life may cover it.
- It is your responsibility to communicate with the insurance company regarding coverage for CPAP or AutoPAP equipment and to request the appropriate forms, complete and submit these forms. Payment for the equipment is the responsibility of the patient even if an insurance claim has been submitted.
- Provincial Sleep Group will contact you to make an appointment to begin treatment with CPAP or AutoPAP therapy.
At this appointment, equipment will be provided to you for an evaluation period of two to three weeks. The purpose of this initial evaluation period is to determine the effectiveness of the treatment. The Sleep Clinician does this through online monitoring of the CPAP therapy. The Sleep Clinician will review the data and provide the necessary follow up care. If the therapy is working well, you will pay the balance owing for the equipment at the follow up appointment and a detailed report will be sent to your Doctor. If you will be submitting a claim to your insurance company for this equipment, then pre-approval paperwork will be done at the treatment appointment and the follow up appointment will be in three weeks.
During the evaluation period, it is very important that the therapy is worn every night for as much of the night as possible so that the clinician has enough data to evaluate the results and make necessary changes to the machine settings. If the therapy is not used enough, you may be charged $150/month to continue the evaluation.
Cost of the treatment appointment:
You will be required to purchase a mask at this appointment. The cost of the initial mask is $200. This mask fee is applies to the purchase of the CPAP machine package. In addition, a credit card imprint will be required in order to secure the equipment that you will be using at “no charge” during the evaluation period.