Home-based sleep studies
Instructions for referring clinics
In November 2018, Medicare made significant changes to item description for home-based sleep studies. Patients must be referred in one of two ways:
1) Directly by a sleep or respiratory physician
2) By any other referring practitioner (e.g. general practitioner), having scored highly enough on two screening questionnaires
Unless referred directly by a sleep specialist, patients need to complete two different sleep questionnaires and reach the cut-off for each.
The two forms in question are the Epworth Sleepiness Scale and the STOP-BANG questionnaire. These are found on the bottom of our referral forms.
On the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, patients must achieve a score of 8 or more.
On the STOP-BANG questionnaire, patients must achieve a score of 4 or more.
If they fail to achieve these scores, the patient will be ineligible for a Medicare-funded study until they see a sleep physician, who will need to order the study. Our physicians will bulk-bill patients with a Centrelink concession card.
We understand that your time is valuable, and that you may not have time to complete the questionnaire with the patient during your consult. If the patient is to complete the questionnaire in their own time, we ask that you write the referral for sleep study and consultation, so we can arrange for them to see the specialist if they should prove ineligible for the study.
We greatly appreciate receipt of the referral with completed questionnaire to assist us in correctly booking in your patients.
If you would like to review the Medicare changes, you can find them using the links below:
Please feel free to contact us if you would like any further information about the booking of a sleep study.