ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released the findings of its sleep apnea survey today.
Data for the survey was collected from more than 800 commercial drivers.
ARTI said it found a lot from the study. It said that among drivers who had been referred to a sleep study, 53% paid some or all of the test costs, with an average of $1,220 in out-of-pocket expenses, representing just over 1.5 weeks of median driver pay at $805 per week. ATRI also found that among drivers reporting time away from work associated with sleep apnea screening, 41% indicated days off ranging from 1 – 30 days.
The study also found that among the 91% of drivers being treated — despite a diagnosis of mild sleep apnea — with CPAP machine less than a third (32%) experienced improved sleep as a result of CPAP treatment.
Additionally, said ATRI, among drivers who have been tested, 64% believe that the DOT guidelines for referring drivers are too broad and that medical examiners do not follow the guidelines for referrals to sleep studies.
“ATRI’s research clearly shows what my fellow drivers and I have been experiencing. The costs associated with sleep apnea screening and treatment are not inconsequential for drivers and the flexibility to utilize lower cost options for both screening and treatment will be critical if FMCSA moves forward with a formal rulemaking,” said Barbara Beal, an owner/operator and member of OOIDA.
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