15 Feb

The Real Difference Between HST and Sleep Facilities

Have you been told you need to complete a sleep
study? Are you torn between completing it at a sleep facility versus at home? What
are the differences? Are the results really the same?

Blackstone Medical Services offers those suffering from
obstructive sleep apnea the opportunity to complete a home sleep study rather
than spending the night at a sleep facility. Once you receive a prescription
for the test, a home sleep study device (about the size of a cell phone), is
shipped directly to your home. The package comes with detailed instructions,
along with an instructional video explaining how to perform the sleep study.
Once the study is completed, you ship the device back using the pre-paid
shipping label provided for you. It’s as easy that!

Because home sleep testing is a newer option, many
are skeptical to complete the test on their own. However, home sleep testing
offers many things that a sleep institute study cannot. For instance, you will
be able to move freely in any position during the study. This is highly
beneficial if you need to get up at any point during the night. At a sleep
facility, if you need to use the bathroom you must notify the sleep technician
so he/she can disconnect all of the wires. With a home sleep study, the small
device is attached around your chest and allows you to get up and move around. In
addition, your partner can sleep in the same bed during the study. This is much
more comforting and will allow you to maintain your normal sleep schedule.

Another benefit of home sleep testing is cost. Home
sleep studies, if the proper criteria are met, are covered by most insurance
plans. If you would prefer to self-pay, the out-of-pocket cost is $329. This is
significantly lower compared to the thousands it costs to have a study
conducted at a sleep lab.

Time also plays a major role in home sleep testing.
Although a home sleep test requires participation for two nights (compared to
the one night required by labs), the results arrive much quicker. Once the test
is ordered, the test may be completed in as little as 24 hours, as opposed to
the average 1-to-2 week waiting period for labs. The same can be said for the
reading of the results. Once the test is completed and the device is sent back,
it takes 24 hours to process the results. With a sleep lab, it may take up to
two weeks to receive the results upon completion.

So, is the quality of the results the same? YES! A
home sleep study device measures the same things that the sleep lab is
measuring—respiratory effort, snoring, pulse rate, oxygen saturation and body
position. However, home sleep devices do not monitor heart rhythms, brain waves
or eye and leg movements. What’s the difference? Home sleep studies specialize
in the diagnosis of sleep apnea while sleep facilities monitor for a variety of
sleep disorders, such as restless leg syndrome and REM sleep.

If you suspect that you or a loved one suffers from
sleep apnea, don’t spend thousands of dollars on traditional out-patient
facilities when you stay in your own home. Home sleep studies are more
affordable and less invasive. Visit our website for more information on home
sleep testing—www.blackstonemedicalservices.com.

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