Sleep apnoea being misdiagnosed by CPAP manufacturers – concerns
Leading sleep doctors are warning that patients are being incorrectly diagnosed with sleep apnoea by companies selling CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines to treat the condition.
The Federal Department of Health is investigating an apparent blowout in Medicare claims for home-based sleep tests for obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).
Department officials have also flagged concerns that some companies in Australia are administering the tests, offering a diagnosis and then profiting from selling CPAP machines, which cost about $2000.
In May, the health department met with the Australasian Sleep Association alarmed that 75% of the home-based tests completed under Medicare were not ordered in conjunction with an assessment by a respiratory or sleep physician.
Dr Jeremy Goldin, head of sleep medicine at Royal Melbourne Hospital, says he sees one patient a week who has been incorrectly diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea after undergoing a commercially performed sleep study.
Professor Christine Jenkins, a thoracic physician at Sydney’s Concord Hospital, shares Dr Goldin’s concerns.
She says she has seen patients complaining that the CPAP machine they had bought to treat the OSA they had been diagnosed with through a commercial sleep study was not relieving their symptoms.
Upon investigation, it turned out these patients did not have obstructive sleep apnoea but more serious conditions, Professor Jenkins says.
Last month, the Australasian Sleep Association wrote to its members stressing guidelines stipulating that companies selling CPAP machines should not provide diagnostics.
Last Reviewed: 23/07/2015
Reproduced with kind permission from Australian Doctor
Australian Doctor. 2015. Be awake to sleep apnoea misdiagnoses warn experts.
Obstructive sleep apnoea
Obstructive sleep apnoea happens when the muscles at the back of the throat relax and block the airways during sleep. Symptoms include snoring and waking up with a sensation of choking or gasping.
Obstructive sleep apnoea in children
Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a condition that affects breathing during sleep. Affected children frequently snore and have poor quality sleep that affects their behaviour and concentration during the day.
Australian health system: how it works
Australia's healthcare system - find out how it works, which health services are funded by the government and which services are privately funded.
Why does a good night’s sleep gets harder with age?
A new review on the sleeping habits of older adults finds that there is a reduced ability to achieve deep sleep as you age and this has negative health consequences.
Sleep problems and snoring
Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or remain asleep for an adequate length of time. Find out what products are available for sleep problems and snoring.