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Sleep Med ; 101: 375-383, 2023 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2234507


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the U.S. healthcare system, reducing the capacity available for unrelated conditions, such as sleep disordered breathing, and increasing concerns about the safety of in-lab testing. This study characterizes how the pandemic impacted the assessment of sleep disordered breathing and use of associated services. METHODS: Sleep testing claims occurring between January 2019 and June 2021 were extracted from the database of a national healthcare organization. Utilization was trended. Logistic regressions were run to assess the association between quarter of initial testing, whether testing was followed by treatment, and whether testing was followed by a clinical visit with a diagnosis related to sleep apnea, after controlling for patient-related factors. A Cox proportional hazards model assessed factors influencing time to treatment. Finally, a logistic regression assessed factors influencing the finality of home-based testing. RESULTS: In Q2 2021, home-based testing utilization was 134% of its initial level, while in-lab and split night testing were both at 61% of initial levels. Patients receiving initial home-based testing did not significantly differ in their likelihood of treatment, but were significantly less likely to have a clinical visit for sleep apnea (P < 0.01). Patients initially tested in 2021 were treated significantly more quickly than those initially tested in Q1 2019. Home-based testing occurring in Q4 2019 or later was significantly more likely to be definitive than home-based testing occurring Q1 2019. CONCLUSIONS: Home-based sleep testing increased significantly and durably in 2020, and was associated with faster time to treatment than initial in-lab testing.

COVID-19 , Sleep Apnea Syndromes , Humans , Pandemics , Sleep , Sleep Apnea Syndromes/diagnosis , Sleep Apnea Syndromes/epidemiology , Sleep Apnea Syndromes/therapy , Polysomnography