ALTHOUGH thousands of corporations have implemented programs and incentives to improve employee health, many continue to overlook an issue that negatively affects operational efficiency and may result in unnecessarily high healthcare costs.
Research shows that employees with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have persistently lower productivity and higher absenteeism and consume more total healthcare dollars. A recent study1 found that the overall per member per month healthcare costs for untreated sleep apnea patients were nearly 25% higher than for patients on treatment ($846 vs. $645, p = 0.005). In addition, employees with sleep apnea are more likely to advance in their
spectrum of illness to other costly health conditions.2
This article describes a program at on-site healthcare clinicsinside schools and municipalities. Crowne/CareHere runs wellness and onsite healthcare clinic programs for employers and has 31 health centers throughout Florida. Starting in 2013, the company piloted a sleep apnea evaluation protocol within its wellness program at five municipalities and two school systems. The goal was to develop and test a plan that would identify employees at risk for sleep-disordered breathing, provide each at-risk person with an at-home diagnostic tool, and to assist employees who were diagnosed with OSA.