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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on November 21st, 2016

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: November 21, 2016

Sleep Technologist Advice

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Your media watchdog for headlines and trends
relevant to sleep technology and patient education. 

Happy Thanksgiving...
And don't forget the whipped cream for the pumpkin pie!


For Multiple Sclerosis Patients, Sleep Disorders Such As Narcolepsy Should Also Be on the Clinician’s Radar
November 3, 2016

From the article: “...[S]tudies have found that sleep disorders like narcolepsy, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder, and insomnia are commonly found among patients with MS... But as a study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine points out, a significant number of sleep disorders remain undiagnosed in MS patients.”

Takeaway: This is truly an ongoing dilemma for people with MS, one which their MS caregivers need to give more thoughtful attention to.

Disclosure: The author of "While You Were Sleeping" has multiple sclerosis.


Medicare fraud whistleblower gets $631,200 from Fresno County jury
November 4, 2016

From the article: “Casillas had worked as a respiratory therapist for the faculty medical group since November 2008 and had received good performance evaluations before her whistleblowing, the lawsuit said. But she worked under a 'microscope' after she refused to perform medical services outside the scope of her respiratory care license and refused to participate in unlawful billing to Medicare, the lawsuit said.”

Takeaway: We all know what's right and what's wrong. Always choose to do the right thing.


Inspire Medical Systems Completes 1,000th Implant
November 17, 2016

From the article:As the only FDA-approved implantable device for obstructive sleep apnea patients who don’t get benefit from traditional CPAP therapy, the company also noted that over 100 medical centers worldwide have now completed training and are actively implanting the Inspire device.

Takeaway: This didn't take long to achieve... 2.5 years? It seems to be working and insurance seems to be coming on board with reimbursement. Shape of things to come for labs that focus only on noninvasive ventilation. Between Inspire and oral appliance therapy, this is going to lead to major shifts in the way labs operate. 


Upper Airway Collapsibility Assessed by Negative Expiratory Pressure while Awake is Associated with Upper Airway Anatomy
November 3, 2016

From the article:The application of negative expiratory pressure (NEP) is a simple method to assess upper airway collapsibility that can be easily performed during wakefulness.

Takeaway: This is a daytime screening procedure that may identify patients who are better suited for oral appliance therapy or other nonPAP treatment. 


Physicians on Surgeon General’s Letter on Opioid Epidemic: Survey Results
November 10, 2016

From the article: “...respondents were divided in what has caused the “opioid epidemic”; while over-prescribing of opioids and an overly aggressive emphasis on pain treatment were popular choices, a significant percentage (35%) chose to indicate other reasons. ...What was clear was the sentiment that doctors, rather than government or communities, should be the captains leading the efforts to curb opioid harm.  In order to do so, respondents indicated that an expanded toolset, comprised of educational and screening resources, was needed.

Takeaway: We see the direct link between opioid use and chronic health in our sleep centers nearly every day. The results of this survey are illuminating. Click here to sign up for your free PDF of the results.


Headline vs. study: A battle where readers often lose
November 15, 2016

From the article:About a third of news story headlines and a quarter of news release headlines either misstated the results or went beyond what the research could support. It’s an admittedly small sample of our recent work, but I don’t think the results are out of line with what we see month in and month out. I hope the findings shine a light on the ways that headline messages mislead – and how headline writers can do better.”

Takeaway: It's refreshing to see a health news provider review the accuracy of its own content. Unfortunately, most patients and readers are still not savvy enough to notice these mistakes and misrepresentations. As healthcare providers, we have much to learn to stay ahead of our patients in this regard. Good media literacy is easily foundational to the practice of good health literacy. 


My Pillow Settles Consumer Lawsuit Over Health Claims for $1 Million
November 3, 2016

From the article: “Late-night infomercials and other ads claimed that the company's pillows could cure not only insomnia but also such ailments as sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, and even multiple sclerosis."

Takeaway: Is there a sleep medicine professional out there that isn't doing the Snoopy dance over this news?


BIO:  Tamara Kaye Sellman RPSGT, CCSH curates the weekly sleep news 
clearinghouse, SleepyHeadCENTRAL, where she follows sleep health
headlines daily. She is also
Chief Content Officer for inboundMed and
contributes to
AAST’s magazine, A2Zzz, and other places.