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The Long-Term Health Plan and Disability Cost Benefit of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment in a Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Population

Hoffman, Benjamin MD, MPH; Wingenbach, Dustin D. MBA; Kagey, Amy N. MS; Schaneman, Justin L. MS; Kasper, David

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: May 2010 - Volume 52 - Issue 5 - p 473-477
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181dbc8ab
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Objective: To assess the impact on health plan and disability costs associated with continuous positive airway pressure or bi-level positive airway pressure treatment of obstructive sleep apnea in a commercial motor vehicle driver population.

Methods: A retrospective, pre/post claims-based comparison analysis was performed. Health plan and disability costs, in addition to disability claimant rates and missed workdays were compared for the 12 months before treatment to the 24 months after treatment.

Results: Health plan costs were significantly lower in both the first and second years after treatment. Short-term disability metrics also exhibited favorable results, with approximately half as many using the benefit, lower costs, and fewer missed workdays in the postperiod.

Conclusions: Effective treatment of obstructive sleep apnea in drivers is associated with lower health care and disability costs and fewer missed workdays.

From Waste Management (Dr Hoffman, Mr Kasper) Houston, Tex; University of Texas School of Public Health (Dr Hoffman), Houston, Tex; the Human Capital Management Services (Ms Kagey, Mr Schaneman), Cheyenne, Wyo.

Address correspondence to: Benjamin Hoffman, MD, MPH, 1001 Fannin, Suite 4000, Houston, TX 77002; E-mail:

©2010The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine