DMEs versus Integrated Sleep Practices for OSA Care: William Noah, MD


The director and founder of the Sleep Centers of Middle Tennessee discussed strategies to achieve long term adherence to cPAP from patients with obstructive sleep apnea.

"With this study, we found that our group did so much better partly because of the integration that we had in the machine, but also partly because we had staff that was monitoring them, making sure they were wearing all the way through 3 months. The DME patients need that as well.”

Patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) receiving positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy machines through an integrated sleep practice (ISP) had better long term-adherence to the therapy than those who received it from traditional durable medical equipment suppliers (DMEs), according to the results of a recent study.

NeurologyLive spoke with William Noah, MD, senior author of the study and the director and founder of the Sleep Centers of Middle Tennessee, about achieving long-term adherence in these patients. Particularly, about some of the differences between patients who receive their machine from the traditional sources compared to integrated practices like his. (Editor’s note: Noah was kind enough to speak with us while snowed in and working at his farm, so he asks that you please excuse his appearance on video.)

Noah discussed how a 3-month monitoring period is the key to long-term adherence, and how this monitoring period should be enacted for patients receiving PAP machines from both ISPs and DMEs. He also compared the transactional model of DMEs to the patient-focused model of ISPs.

Andry JM, Tobin G, Shafin C, Noah W. Positive airway pressure therapy supplied by an integrated sleep practice associated with greater adherence among pre–Medicare-aged patients with sleep-disordered breathing. J Clin Sleep Med. 2021. 17(1):31-36. doi: 10.5664/jcsm.8786
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