Tips for Choosing the Right Sleep Center
Has your doctor decided you need a sleep study for your sleep disorder? Are you not sure about where you should go? Choosing the right sleep center for your needs can seem like a difficult task, especially if you live in an area with many choices.
Not all sleep centers are created equal. It is important for you to be an informed consumer when it comes to choosing your sleep center. Use this as a guide to ensure you have all the information you need in order to make the best decision for your health.
Tip #1: Choose a sleep center that has achieved accreditation
When searching for the right sleep center for your needs, look for a center that is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). The AASM has established gold standards of care that should be achieved in a sleep center. Facilities who achieve this accreditation are vetted by the AASM and must commit to excellence in various areas, such as:1
- High-quality care
- Evidence-based practices
- Board-certified doctors
- Background checks for all employees
- Standards for all facility and equipment
To achieve and maintain accreditation by AASM, sleep centers must maintain compliance with the accreditation standards.2
Tip #2: Choose a sleep center that is in-network with your health insurance
Once you have determined a sleep center is properly accredited, the next thing you should determine is whether the center is considered in-network with your health insurance.
In-network means doctors or healthcare facilities that are part of your insurance plan’s network of providers. These doctors and facilities have negotiated a discount with your insurance plan. You usually pay less when using an in-network doctor or facility. That is because those networks provide services at lower cost to the insurance companies with which they have contracts.3
Tip #3: Choose a sleep center with experienced and knowledgeable staff
This is perhaps just as important as making sure the sleep center is accredited and is in-network. Ask if a board-certified doctor and a registered polysomnographic technician (RPSGT) will be monitoring you during your sleep study.
RPSGTs are sleep technicians who have completed an accredited sleep technician educational program through the AASM. These technicians must also have months of sleep study experience and pass a rigorous exam.
Checking to make sure both the doctor and technicians are certified will mean that your sleep study will be conducted according to AASM standards.4
Tip #4: Check out the sleep center yourself
If you are able, checking out a sleep center in person may be all you need to make your final decision. Many facilities will allow you to tour before deciding on the center for your sleep study. Seeing the center before your study may also reduce any fear or anxiety you might have of sleeping away from home.
While choosing the right sleep center may seem like a daunting task, using these tips will help you narrow down your choices. Make sure you are having a conversation with your doctor about your choices, as he or she may have knowledge that can help you in your decision.4
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