Changes to Diagnostic Services for Sleep Disorders

What does this mean for general practitioners and physicians?

General practitioners and physicians can directly refer eligible patients for diagnostic homebased (unattended) or laboratory-based sleep studies when an approved assessment tool has been used.

General practitioners and physicians can also continue to refer eligible patients with suspected sleep disorders to qualified adult sleep medicine practitioners and consultant respiratory physicians for further investigation, without referring for a sleep investigation.

Paediatric item numbers and referral processes have not changed.

Referral process from November 1st General practitioners and physicians who want to directly refer patients for a diagnostic home or laboratory-based sleep study to confirm a diagnosis of sleep apnoea will need to determine a patient’s eligibility by using approved assessment tools and meeting the criteria below.

Epworth Sleepiness Scale score ≥ 8 AND one of the following:

– OSA-50 score ≥ 5
– STOP-BANG score ≥ 4
– Berlin Questionnaire – high risk

Completing The Referral

Diagnostic Sleep Investigations

Follow and complete all information requested on the WA Sleep referral. Ensure the screening OSA 50 and ESS screening tools are completed, and if they do not meet the requirements below, refer the patient for a sleep physician consultation.

WA Sleep has 10 Sleep/Respiratory Physicians available for consultations.

OSA-50 score ≥ 5 PLUS an Epworth Sleepiness Scale score ≥ 8

Treatment Sleep Investigations
(CPAP, MAS, Body Positioning)

New Medicare guidelines from the 1st November 2018 have mandated that a Sleep Physician Consultation is required before an in-hospital CPAP study can be performed. Sleep Physician Consultations, including telemedicine (bulk-billed), can be arranged immediately by return referral to WA Sleep.
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