|The Costs of Untreated Sleep Apnea|
There are many medical justifications for treating sleep apnea. Treating sleep apnea improves cardiovascular health, reduces sleepiness and depression, and improves alertness among other benefits. But there are also many cost justifications for treating sleep apnea.
Untreated sleep apnea is costly for both patients, hospitals, and insurance companies. Below are some key statistics related to the treatment of sleep apnea.
- Undiagnosed patients use $200,000 more in healthcare resources in the two-year period prior to diagnosis (Kryger 1996).
- Prior to sleep apnea diagnosis, patients utilized 23-50% more medical resources (Smith 2002).
- Heart failure, which has been linked to sleep apnea, is the most expensive disorder to treat (Medicare: $20.4 billion per annum). Over 75% of heart failure patients have sleep apnea (Oldenburg 2007).
- The total economic cost of sleepiness is approximately $43-56 billion (Leger 1994).
- In the U.S., the average untreated sleep apnea patient's annual health care costs $1,336 more than an individual without sleep apnea (Kapur 1999).
- Undiagnosed moderate to severe sleep apnea in middle-aged adults may cause $3.4 billion in additional medical costs in the US (Kapur 1999).
- Cost analysis of the benefit of including sleep monitoring procedures in the detection of OSA demonstrated cost savings of $9200-$13400 per quality-adjusted life year gained (Chervin 1999).