Home Sleep Testing

For a select group of patients, a home sleep study may make more sense. Home sleep tests are only used to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Patients meeting the clinical criteria listed below and who are eligible through their insurance coverage, can now choose between having their test done in the laboratory and having it done at home.

Ideally, patients are referred for an evaluation by a sleep specialist who can decide if a patient is appropriate for a home sleep study. If appropriate, the patient is given a device during a visit to the clinic and is instructed how to put it on by a sleep technologist. The patient returns or mails the device back to the center the following day.  The study is ‘scored and interpreted’ by one of our sleep specialists. The patient returns the following week to see the sleep specialist, who reviews the result of the study with the patient and selects appropriate treatment.

A 24-hour turnaround service is available at our Brighton, Framingham, Medford and Weymouth, Massachusetts locations. In this case, the patient returns to the clinic with the device the next day and the study is scored and interpreted, reviewed with the sleep specialist and treatment is selected and initiated – all in the same visit.

If the referring physician thinks the patient is appropriate for a home sleep study and wants to manage the patient themselves, they can order the test and receive back a report interpreted by a sleep specialist. Sleep HealthCenters will be able to assist with treatment if desired by the referring physician.

A home sleep study should be utilized only as part of a comprehensive sleep evaluation. Sleep HealthCenters can conduct an evaluation to determine if the patient is an appropriate candidate. The referring provider can order the test if they determine the patient meets criteria for HST.

Criteria For Home Sleep Testing

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has published suggested guidelines for the use of home sleep studies in the diagnosis of OSA. They recommend that it be used only in the context of a comprehensive sleep evaluation and for the following patients:

  • Patients with a high pre-test probability of moderate to severe OSA.
  • Patients with no significant co-morbid medical condition. Examples of co-morbid conditions include moderate-severe pulmonary diseases (cystic fibrosis, pulmonary fibrosis, active asthma, COPD), congestive heart failure and neuromuscular diseases (ALS, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease).
  • Patients suspected of having no co-morbid sleep disorder other than OSA.
  • Patients unable to be studied in a sleep laboratory.
  • To monitor response to non-PAP treatments after the diagnosis has already been made.
  • The AASM recommended that HST is not appropriate for general screening of asymptomatic patients.