You’ve made the decision to offer sleep apnea treatment to your patients. That’s great! Before you begin, though, you must first find a way to prepare your team to treat sleep apnea in your dental office. After all, if your team isn’t effective, the likeliness that your patients will return is slim. So, how do you do it? Read on for some useful tips to consider when embarking on this new endeavor.
Education: Teaching Your Team About Sleep Apnea
The most important step to preparing your team for treating sleep apnea patients is to educate them. By incorporating sleep apnea treatment into your list of services, you are positioning yourself and your team as experts on the subject. When a patient arrives to seek treatment, your team should be able to effectively answer questions, offer suggestions, and provide the highest level of care. Everyone from your administrative team to your hygienists should be well-versed in the terminology, anatomy, and clinical signs of sleep apnea. This will not only give them greater confidence in their own abilities, but it will give you peace of mind knowing you have a team that can better serve your patients.
Equipment: Determining Which Device(s) to Use for Treatment
Naturally, by offering sleep apnea treatment, you will need to decide which type(s) of equipment you will use to help a patient find relief. Whether you choose one or several, make sure your team understands what they are, how to use them, why they’re effective, and the benefits of each. Most dentists opt to provide oral appliance therapy, as they are less bulky and more easily manageable than CPAP machines. One important factor to remember is by choosing to offer oral devices, you will need to be mindful of the lab costs, as this will ultimately be the responsibility of the patient when it comes to payment. You want a safe and effective appliance that is an affordable option for your clients.
Collaboration: Forming Relationships with Labs and Physicians
Speaking of labs, as a dental professional, you will need to establish relationships with doctors to provide referrals. You will be unable to perform a sleep study, but a lab or doctor can, so having those relationships will not only be beneficial for your patients, but they will also expand your clientele. In return, you will also likely receive referrals from these individuals and/or groups. Make sure your team members become familiar with the individuals working at these other offices. This will become useful as they discuss with patients about the referral process.
Compensation: Establishing an Effective Way to Receive Payment
The final step is to ensure you and your team establish an effective way to receive payment for sleep apnea treatment. Whether you opt for in-house billing or choose a third-party billing service, you will need members of your administrative team to understand the processes of working with medical insurance, as sleep apnea is not covered by dental insurance. Coverage for sleep therapy is based on “medical necessity,” so it may be advantageous to have members of your team attend trainings, webinars, and courses involving the details of medical billing if you choose to keep it in house.
About 21st Century Sleep Seminars
Dr. Kent Smith is a top professional in sleep medicine who has experience in treating, writing, and speaking about sleep disorders. His wealth of knowledge has helped other dentists integrate sleep apnea treatment into their own practices. At 21st Century Sleep Seminars, we can provide you with the information, tips, advice, and network of professionals you need to effectively treat these sleep disorders your patients are facing. To learn more, visit our website or call (972) 255-3712.