Frequently Asked Questions
Everything You Need to Know About Sleep
What is the process to get diagnosed and treated at BlueSleep?
BlueSleep performs sleep apnea and snoring evaluations online and in person (when needed and safe). We have treated over 20,000 sleep patients. Simply go to BlueSleep.com to make a convenient appointment with one of our providers. We accept most insurances (Aetna, Cigna, Oxford, United, Blue Cross, GHI, Medicare, and others).
You will likely need a home sleep test if you have not had one within the last few years. We are currently using personal disposable home sleep tests that will be shipped to your home after the online consultations with our sleep specialists. Home sleep tests are covered by insurance only when prescribed by a health care provider, and only when necessary due to a high suspicion of sleep apnea.
A second telemedicine visit is scheduled to review the results of your sleep test and discuss treatment options. If you choose treatment with CPAP, we will arrange for a CPAP company to deliver the equipment to your home. Insurance usually covers this treatment, and the CPAP provider will verify coverage for you. Once you have received the CPAP you will make an appointment with our sleep specialists to review the use and efficacy of the treatment.
If you choose treatment with an oral appliance, you can either come in to one of our facilities for a digital scan of your teeth (depending on the safety to you and our staff during the COVID pandemic), or we will ship a home impression kit; and our staff will assist you with the dental impressions during a scheduled virtual visit.
Insurance coverage for oral appliance treatment requires a diagnosis of sleep apnea and symptoms other than just snoring. Our staff and billing team performs pre-authorization for in-network coverage of the treatment and communicates with you regarding any financial responsibility, which may include copays, coinsurance, and deductibles, prior to ordering the appliance.
We will then ship or email the impressions to the dental lab or manufacturer, to get your appliance made. You should know that Blue Cross and Medicare limit the type of appliances they will pay for - this is beyond our control. If you want a different type of appliance, not covered by Blue Cross or Medicare, this becomes a self pay service. We have made thousands of oral appliances for our patients, and we work with many manufacturers and dental labs including: Panthera, Prosomnus, Glidewell, Whole You, Somnomed, Dynaflex, Oventus, and others.
We will ship the appliance to your home and schedule a virtual fitting session with our staff to instruct you in its use and care. If you require in person adjustments we will schedule a visit in one of our facilities (depending on the level of risk to you and our staff, due to COVID).
The time it takes for you to receive your oral appliance depends on how quickly your insurance provides a pre-authorization, and how quickly the lab manufactures the appliance. The process can take as little as 2 weeks, and as long as 3 months or more for some payers.
We will ship a home sleep test usually 4 to 8 weeks after you have started using the appliance and have adjusted it according to the quality of your sleep. We suggest using the "Snore Lab" app on your smart phone, in addition to observations from your bedpartner, and your overall daytime function and energy levels; to help you titrate (adjust) your appliance.
Virtual or in person visits are scheduled every 6-12 months thereafter to assure proper efficacy of the treatment, and proper fit of the appliance. If you have any questions, please contact us during regular business hours (M-F, 9-5)
COVID-19 and CPAP
What are the side effects of sleep apnea and snoring mouth guards?
Sleep apnea and snoring mouth guards fit on the teeth, and can move the teeth and change your bite. This is common, but usually not a noticeable problem. In one study, only 1% of users stopped treatment because of these side effects.
You may have some jaw soreness when you start using the mouth guard; but this usually goes away, or only lasts a short time in the morning after removing the mouth guard. Using the morning repositioner that you were given can help with the soreness; and also help prevent movement of your teeth and bite changes.
If you are having any issues with your mouth guard, make sure to contact us immediately.
My sleep apnea/snoring mouth guard broke, what do I do?
Go to www.BlueSleep.com and contact us . Most appliances have a 1-3 year warranty. If we took the measurement with a digital scan, then most likely, all we need to do is order a new appliance and send it to you. Send us pictures of your broken appliance. We will need to send the broken appliance back to the lab to get the new one covered by the warranty.
I'm having problems with my CPAP machine, what do I do?
Your CPAP was prescribed by our doctors, but the machine and supplies are provided by a CPAP "Durable Medical Equipment" company. They are contracted by your health insurance plan to provide the CPAP, supplies; and to provide maintenance and service for you.
If your CPAP machine is not functioning properly, call the CPAP company. Most BlueSleep patients receive their CPAP from one of the companies below. If you chose a different company, then call the number they have provided for you when they delivered the machine.
Nationwide Medical: 877-307-2727
Adapt health: firstname.lastname@example.org
Classic Sleep Care: email@example.com
If there is nothing wrong with the CPAP machine but you are having difficulty adapting to the CPAP treatment, or believe it is not effective; you will need to make an appointment for an evaluation with our practitioners. Make an appointment online at: www.bluesleep.com
How come I'm not getting my CPAP supplies?
In order to get CPAP supplies paid by your health plan, and delivered by your CPAP company; you need a telemedicine or in person evaluation at least once a year with our providers; and you have to be compliant with CPAP. The compliance numbers have been developed by the Federal government, and are used by health plans to decide whether or not to pay for your CPAP and supplies. This means using the CPAP at least 5 out of 7 days a week, for at least 4 hours each night. This is a minimum required to get the most out of your treatment, and keep enough oxygen going to your heart, brain, and all other organs -use it all the time! If you cannot use your CPAP, contact us and we can discuss a non-CPAP treatment; like a medical sleep apnea mouth guard, or a referral for sleep apnea surgery.
Is testing and treatment covered by medical insurance?
Our doctors participate with most health insurance plans (Cigna, Aetna, Oxford, United, Emblem, Blue Cross, Oscar, Medicare, 1199, 32 BJ, and more). Sleep testing and oral appliance treatments are covered by most medical insurance for patients who are diagnosed with sleep apnea and are symptomatic. Coverage does vary according to insurance plans. Your financial responsibility includes your deductible, co-pay, and co-insurance. When you have been prescribed sleep testing and treatment by our staff; preauthorization with your health plan is done to determine any out of pocket expenses. Contact us for more information
If you do not have any medical insurance, or an insurance that we do not accept, we are able to offer discounted rates for payment made at the time of service. Submit your question by email, and we will respond within 1-2 business days.
Is a home sleep test reliable?
Home sleep apnea testing technology has existed for close to 30 years. At BlueSleep we have conducted medical research on home sleep testing devices. Our research as well as many others' has shown that home sleep testing is very reliable; and in many cases is more likely to provide realistic information about your sleep than a sleep study done in a hospital or other facility.
Lab sleep studies (Polysomnography or PSG for short) are useful for diagnosing non sleep apnea sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, REM behavior disorders, and less common sleep disorders.
Do custom-made medical mouth guards work for sleep apnea?
Yes, but as with all medical treatments, not for everyone. We have treated over 20,000 sleep patients, with different kinds of treatments including: mouth guards, surgery and/or CPAP. Medical mouth guards, custom made by our medical team, are covered by medical insurance when medically necessary (as long as you have sleep apnea and are symptomatic). In case you have chosen to be treated with a mouth guard and it is not working or causing discomfort, then we willl discuss alternative treatments. Our expertise is based on the large volume of patients we have treated, and on the results of the clinical research we have conducted on home sleep testing, in-office surgical procedures for sleep apnea and snoring; and the efficacy of oral appliances for sleep apnea - all presented a medical meetings and or published in the medical literature.
What is the best treatment for sleep apnea?
It's the treatment that works for you! (you can read the blog post by Dr. Stern)
We have found that most patients prefer a treatment other than CPAP, and that is what we offer, based on our research and testing of treatments in clinical trials. All of our treatments are FDA approved and follow the current treatment guidelines. We offer oral appliance therapy for patients with mild and moderate sleep apnea, and for patients with severe sleep apnea who do not want to use CPAP. We test the effectiveness of treatment with home sleep testing over several nights if necessary. All our treatments are covered by insurance (make sure to confirm that your insurance plan has the necessary coverage - our staff will discuss this with you - only rare types of medical insurance do not cover treatment for sleep apnea.)