Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a physician referral to have a sleep study completed?
We do require a physician referral but if you have contacted us before your physician has, we have a team of professionals who can contact your physician on your behalf. Please contact one of our professionals for further assistance.
You have been referred to Sleep Medix by your physician for a Sleep Study. What does this mean?
Sleep Medix is a clinic that specializes in conducting a test that screens for Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Your Physician has identified a sign, symptom or risk factor that may warrant a test such as this test. A home Sleep Study is also referred to as a Level 3 Sleep Study or Ambulatory Sleep Study. During your appointment with a Sleep Medix clinician, you will be instructed on how to use the equipment. You will then take the equipment home and sleep with it as it monitors some important aspects of your breathing. You will return the equipment to Sleep Medix the next business day. The Sleep Study information will then be sent to a Sleep Specialist or Respirologist for a medical interpretation of the data.
I have completed a home Sleep Study and have returned the equipment to Sleep Medix. Now what?
It takes up to approximately two weeks to receive the results medical interpretation from the interpreting Physician. Once the interpretation is received, Sleep Medix staff will compile the information and return the results to your referring Physician. You can follow up with your doctor or contact Sleep Medix to review your results.
The results show that there is no evidence of Obstructive Sleep Apnea or Sleep Disordered Breathing. Now what?
In some cases this is good news! We always encourage you to follow up with the referring Physician to re-assess the original reason for the referral. Sometimes your physician may explore other testing or other strategies to deal with your medical concerns.
What is CPAP?
CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. It is a treatment that connects a mask to a medical device that provides pressure to keep the airway open while sleeping. CPAP must be prescribed by a physician.
The results show that there is evidence of Obstructive Sleep Apnea or Sleep Disordered Breathing. Now what?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea or Sleep Disordered breathing can be a very serious and dangerous condition that can impact your health and quality of life.
In some cases, your Physican may want to follow up with you to review the results. If this is the case, you will need to make an appointment with your Physician so that a treatment plan can be discussed.
Alternatively, your physician may not want to delay treatment and may instruct Sleep Medix to conduct further testing called an Auto-titration. An Auto –Titration is a trial of positive airway pressure. This trial of positive airway pressure provides two important aspects of testing.
1) It allows you to trial the equipment and assesses the benefits of treatment.
2) It allows Sleep Medix to acquire the average optimal pressure that you, as an individual, need to keep your airway open so that air can move freely while breathing.
The Canadian Thoracic Society recommends a minimum of 4 weeks of testing to achieve this important data.
An Auto titration appointment requires an additional appointment with Sleep Medix to provide education and instruction pertaining to the use of the equipment. The use and cleaning of the CPAP unit will be reviewed along with fitting of a new CPAP mask.
I have completed an Auto-Titration. Now what?
Depending on the success and results of the one month assessment, you may want to proceed with permanent nightly therapy and purchase equipment of your own. If permanent nightly therapy is required, your physician will provide Sleep Medix with a permanent prescription for therapy. Your insurance company will be able to provide more details about funding for this equipment. In some rare cases, government funding is available.
If you would like to consider renting the equipment on a monthly basis while you evaluate funding options, please discuss this option with the Respiratory Therapist at Sleep Medix.
How should I clean my CPAP equipment?
We recommend cleaning your CPAP equipment weekly with a mild dish soap or laundry soap. The equipment you should be cleaning is: mask, headstrap, CPAP tubing and humidifier chamber. Some patients also choose to use a vinegar/water soak once per week. Use white distilled vinegar and to create the soak use 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water.
Should I be using distilled water in my CPAP humidifier chamber?
Yes, all CPAP manufacturers recommend using distilled water in the humidifier chamber. Please refer to your CPAP user guide for more information.
How often will I need to replace my mask?
Typically masks are designed to last 1 year. Clinically we often see the mask seal needing replacement every 6 months, especially with full face masks.
What is the warranty on my CPAP machine?
Each CPAP machine comes with a 3 year manufacturer’s warranty. Sleep Medix offers an extended warranty that enables warranty coverage for 5 years (3 years manufacturers warranty + 2 years Sleep Medix warranty = 5 years total). If you’re interested in this extended warranty, please contact our clinic and speak with a Respiratory Therapist.
Why would an insurance company cover the costs associated with treatment for obstructive sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that can have detrimental effects on your health and state of well being. Untreated obstructive sleep apnea can result in an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, adult-onset diabetes, congestive heart failure, depression, etc. Insurance companies often realize that being proactive with treatment of obstructive sleep apnea can potentially prevent many conditions from occurring in the future, thereby saving money in the long run.
What relationship does Sleep Medix have with your insurance company?
Sleep Medix does not have a relationship with any insurance company. Your insurance company works for you and you alone. The insurance company will not provide any details about your policy to Sleep Medix because of their confidentiality policies.
Does my insurance company cover the costs associated with the purchase of a CPAP and/or autoCPAP unit?
Your insurance company may or may not cover the costs associated with the purchase of a CPAP and/or autoCPAP unit. The amount covered can vary anywhere from no coverage to 100% coverage. Some insurance companies will only cover the costs of standard CPAP therapy while other insurance companies will cover the costs of either standard CPAP or autoCPAP therapy. It is your responsibility to determine what your insurance company covers and the amount they will cover. Sleep Medix recommends that you request your insurance company’s response in writing.
What if my insurance company requires further testing?
Your insurance company may require you to undergo a Level 1 Sleep Study prior to approving the cost of CPAP and/or autoCPAP therapy. The Level 1 Sleep Study is considered the gold standard and can only be ordered by certain specialists. It is done in a hospital setting or a private sleep lab setting. There can be a wait time and additional costs associated with this type of study. If possible, Sleep Medix will attempt to assist you in obtaining the required further testing.
How will Sleep Medix assist me when dealing with my insurance company?
Sleep Medix can, at your request, submit a pre-authorization of benefits letter to most insurance companies. Some insurance companies do not allow Sleep Medix to submit a pre-authorization. Your insurance will reply to you regarding your coverage inquiry. Sleep Medix will not receive this information.
Does my insurance company allow direct billing?
Some insurance companies will allow Sleep Medix to direct bill and some will not. If your insurance company does not allow direct billing, Sleep Medix will work with you to achieve your goal of purchasing your CPAP equipment (interest-free payment plan, rental plan).
What if my insurance company does not cover the costs associated with the purchase of a CPAP or autoCPAP unit?
In the end, you are responsible for the costs associated with purchasing a standard CPAP or autoCPAP unit. In the event that you purchased a CPAP or autoCPAP unit but your insurance company then declines to pay for the equipment, you are responsible for the costs incurred in purchasing this equipment. Our policies do not allow us to accept used medical equipment for resale.
What if I want an autoCPAP unit rather than a standard CPAP unit?
Some insurance companies may not fund autoCPAP therapy or may require specific documentation (eg. consult report from physician or sleep specialist) to approve funding of an autoCPAP unit. It will be your responsibility to obtain the documentation required to support your need for an autoCPAP unit versus a standard CPAP unit from your physician.