I get asked this question every day. How can I add more sleep patients to my practice.
My answer, think out of the box. Almost everybody goes about getting their patients the same way. They try to solicit referrals from Sleep physicians and sleep labs. Think about this. lets says your local sleep physician sees 1000 patients per year. Lets say a high number , 80% of them test positive for OSA. You now have 800 people in need of treatment. The AASM says oral appliance therapy is a great option for first line defense against mild and moderate sleep apnea. SO of that 800 lets say exactly half are severe and half are mild/moderate.
400 patients Mild/Moderate
90% of all of these patient will be offered CPAP as a first line of defense
720 out of 800 patients will be given CPAP and 80 will be given oral appliances
That leaves a whopping 80 patients per year being sent to the dentists
80 per year, if they all went to one dentist. That is 6.5 patients per month which is 3-4 more than the average sleep dentist actually sees every month
So what do we to get more patients? Target the physicians who are not currently treating sleep! Make yourself the most knowledgeable sleep person in the room.
Young said in two separate studies that 90% of patients with sleep apnea are undiagnosed.
So millions are out there to be treated. Stop focusing on those 80 patients a month and start focusing on the millions