Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea Produces ROI

Obstructive sleep apnea treatment increases employee productivity

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) People with obstructive sleep apnea often times snore loudly and frequently, and also experience excessive daytime sleepiness. Employees who sleep on the job are not exactly great workers. This sleeply worker syndrome can also lead to decreased work productivity as well.

A recent University of Central Florida study has shown that testing and treating key employees for OSA could save companies millions of dollars in retrieved loss of work productivity.

"Treating OSA makes employees more productive at work."

Principal investigator Dr. Celia Lima, a family nurse practitioner in the College of Nursing at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Fla reports that  this cost-benefit analysis proposed obstructive sleep apnea screening and subsequent treatment for professionals with big salaries. It was nice to see that  results showed substantial financial benefit for employees at practically any salary level.

Lima recommends that companies screen and treat their employees for OSA because of the direct financial benefit. It goes beyond just financial benefits for the companies, it will also improve quality of life and other health benefits to the employees receiving treatment. 

Lima and co-investigator Dr. Elizabeth M. Rash, who is also a nurse practitioner, applied data related to OSA screening, diagnosis and treatment to the specific demographics of this Florida corporation.

Calculations that 70 percent of high-risk individuals are diagnosed with OSA, and that 75 percent of those patients will comply with the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy.

Conservative statistical estimates regarding lost work productivity were then made. For each of the 319 treated employees, productivity retrieval was estimated at $150,000 per year.  Thirty percent recovery of the lost productivity that was lost due to OSA would yield an annual gain of $14.4 million.

The cost of diagnostic screening and treatment with CPAP therapy would cost $7.2 million over 10 years. This would conservatively net the corporation with a 10-year savings of $136 million.

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Review Date: 
June 14, 2011
Last Updated:
June 16, 2011