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The Edmond Sun: Lawmaker counting dollars over costs of sleep treatment

June 28, 2016

Dr. Raj Dasgupta, a sleep doctor at the University of Southern California, agreed it's a "hot topic" and noted that Oklahoma isn't the first state to look into the balance between treating sleep disorders, the cost and how to pay for it.

 

“I think when we talk about sleep, we know it’s essential,” he said.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine doesn’t track how many people seek sleep treatment, though Dasgupta said 20 million Americans have sought help for sleep apnea alone. That disorder can cause snoring, inconsistent breathing and fatigue.

 

About 70 million people in the United States suffer a sleep problem. Nearly 3 in 5 of those have a chronic issue, according to the sleep academy.

 

Insomnia, the most common disorder, costs companies $63.2 billion a year in lost work, and drowsy drivers cause more than 300,000 accidents a year, the academy says.

 

In the meantime, the insurance industry is pushing patients toward less invasive, home-based assessments, Dasgupta said.

 

Dasgupta said inpatient studies — in which someone sleeps in a facility while connected to wires and under constant supervision — don't cost as much as Moore estimates, but they still run $600 to $2,000 for patients with private insurance. The studies cost about $600 for Medicare patients.

 

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