Where Sleep Centers are Headed in the Next Five Years

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marketing-sleepLast year in 2013, the AAST (American Association of Sleep Technologists) hosted a revealing Sleep Technology Summit with the intention of recognizing key changes in the delivery of diagnostic treatment to patients with sleep disorders by identifying new positions and predicating the effect on sleep technologists to prepare them for the future. An exclusive panel of speakers was chosen to focus on the necessary business skills to supply care costs in addition to the essential clinical skills for the future sleep technologist in order to help care for individuals with sleep disorders.

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The Future Role of the Sleep Technologist

A group of chosen industry professionals, educators, and leaders reviewed the current circumstances and observed certain opportunities in order to maintain the profession and also redefine the future role of the sleep technologist. They were all in agreement that both economic and regulatory pressures are literally changing the way most patients with sleep disorders are diagnosed and treated. Private insurance companies are demanding pre-authorization for lab sleep studies and are encouraging home sleep testing regarding the majority of patients suspected of suffering obstructive sleep apnea. Home testing reimbursement will be considerably lower compared to lab testing. Overall, more reductions in reimbursements are expected.

These aspects will indeed diminish the need for sleep technologists to perform lab diagnostic studies while pressuring sleep centers to decrease payrolls. Testing patients will demand that technologists gain a greater level of experience, training, and general sophistication. Innovative models of combined care will ideally include more focus on patient monitoring, education, and follow-up.

New Roles in Sleep Technology

The most successful treatments will require a more patient-focused, individualized approach in treating sleep disorders in the future. Experienced sleep medicine practitioners will be in demand on many levels in order to meet treatment goals, including a few important roles for sleep technologists. In order to sustain viability as a member of an allied health profession, most technologists will require greater education as well as show ability in more key roles than just record scoring and overnight monitoring. The professional association’s challenge is to outline new roles for sleep disorder technologists and to provide the appropriate education that they’ll require to thrive in those roles.

Marketing Opportunities for Sleep Centers and Sleep Technologists

In terms of marketing and expanding their business, there are several target audiences and business opportunities for sleep centers and sleep technologists alike. In fact, there are many more opportunities in this particular field than any other healthcare specialties and medical practices today.

Public relations includes, among other tactics, planning and effectively generating healthcare publicity along with free press exposure that consists of broadcast interviews, newspaper articles, and content online. The end results appear simple, but using a leading pr agency can make a powerful and positive impact.

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