In a recent article from North Bay Biz entitled, “The Science of Sleep”, I read a quote from one of the physician specialists, James Driscoll MD, who says sleep is a vital sign. Sleep helps us drive by contributing to a healthy immune system. Sleep affects how we look, feel and perform. The National Sleep Foundation is promoting the importance of making sleep a priority.
The Huffington Post says that:
The number of sleep centers in the United States is at its highest ever, which underscores this attention to the science of sleep; and highlights a growing population of Americans who are seeking help for their sleep woes, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine reported.
From a few hundred fifteen years ago (exclusive, dedicated sleep centers) to over 2000 The 2,500th sleep center was accredited by the AASM last week; the number is doubled from that of five years ago, and quintupled that from 10 years ago.
Sleep Medicine Specialists
Just as we have experienced with wellness centers, medical spas, ophthalmic vision sensors, acupuncture and many many other medical specialties; sleep centers and their national Association are improving the quality of care and focusing on risk management and effective delivery of medical service. "We believe more centers are applying for AASM accreditation as more patients are beginning to understand the consequences of sleep illness. They're looking for help," Dr. Sam Fleishman, M.D., the president of the AASM, said in a statement.
Sleep Center Services in Northern California
A physician at Sutter Pacific Medical Foundations, Dr. Sean Zager, says that when there is chronic sleep disturbance it causes hormonal imbalance, which can be detrimental to our health in many many ways. Integrative Medicine Specialists have highlighted heart disease, diabetes and even cancer to chronic sleep loss.
Northbay hospitals offer sleep medicine clinics at several locations, including Vallejo, South San Francisco, Sacramento, and many others. Kaiser has piloted clinics. Sutter has sleep clinics throughout Sacramento and independent clinics in the North Bay. These clinics study the three most common sleep disorders, sleep apnea, insomnia and periodic limb movement disorder.
Diagnose, Measure, plan and treat sleep disorders
These clinics perform overnight and daytime sleep testing and of course these clinics involve technicians trained specifically in monitoring, understanding, analyzing and treating sleep disorders. At these clinics patients with symptoms of sleep apnea are given diagnostic tests where technicians measure brainwave respiratory function and blood oxygen levels. Certified sleep medicine doctors interpret results diagnosing the type and the severity of disorders. Treatments provided can change lives and the trajectory of physical conditions of patients. The cost of this treatment can be expensive. However, many medical plans cover the cost, which leaves a manageable amount of expense to the patient.
Cultural Shifts to recognize severity of sleep problems
Just as with surgery centers, diagnostic labs, specialty hospitals, there are insurance carriers that understand the significance of a comprehensive professional liability policy that includes a general liability coverage; business property; additional named insured endorsements, even auto fire insurance. Most importantly, however, you need to have an insurance policy that covers the sleep center including all of the technicians employed or contracted and specialty physicians providing these services. Often times the paramedical employees and the doctors will have their own separate limit of insurance.
Medical Malpractice Insurance Structure for Sleep Centers
Just as with urgent care policies, hospitalist policies and emergency medical policies, you can structure the insurance contracts with separate limits for each physician or one single per incident limit shared by many practitioners. This is a more affordable method and in fact makes your sleep center eligible for the minimum premium. In many cases where the premium is developed by the number of consultations, the number of patient visits, and the number of overnight stays as opposed to the number of physicians and paramedical providers.
No tail for sleep medicine doctors cancelling off of policy
The per incident shared limit policy includes the all-important rolling tail provision. This makes recruiting doctors much easier and canceling them even easier as there is no prohibitive cost of tail triggered when a physician covered by a per incident is canceled from the policy. Often the insurance costs as little as $5,000 per year and includes coverage for physicians. The Doctors Insurance Agency and The Doctors Company are specialists in this type of insurance. We would appreciate any opportunity to help you.