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Sleep apnea treatment program launched for commercial drivers

HOUSTON, Texas -- Precision Pulmonary Diagnostics has completed a pilot project and is now rolling out a program to...

HOUSTON, Texas — Precision Pulmonary Diagnostics has completed a pilot project and is now rolling out a program to help motor carriers address sleep apnea problems among their drivers.

The company says it now has a comprehensive solution to tackling sleep apnea, improving driver safety and reducing employer health-care costs. The program has been three years in the making and features an online screening tool as well as a sleep apnea detection and treatment program.

Schneider National was involved in the pilot project and SYSCO Corporation has also signed on, the company reports.

“Working with Schneider to fine-tune our program was, and continues to be, a great opportunity,” announced Dr. Mark Berger, president of Precision Pulmonary. “We are very pleased with the results they have experienced so far and look forward to working with SYSCO.”

“We recognize sleep apnea as a problem that we can address in a proactive manner,” said Sandra Carson, assistant vice-president of safety and crisis management for SYSCO. “From what we have seen, Precision Pulmonary’s program is designed to quickly and effectively diagnose and treat our employees, and we are looking forward to getting started.”

Schneider reported it realized a savings of between US$500-$708 per month in health care costs for every driver treated under the program. It also saw a 30% decline in accident frequency and a 1.9 times improvement in driver retention.

“When government and industry-led sleep apnea studies showed that 28% of truck drivers were at risk we knew this was an area in which we needed to focus,” said Wendy Sullivan, RN/occupational health manager at Schneider National. “Precision Pulmonary’s program is designed for trucking. They understand the drivers’ world of ‘don’t take me out of service’ and ‘don’t make me wait’. That was very important to us and to the success of the program.”

Angela Fish, director of benefits with Schneider, added “we reduced our health care costs an average of 58% for our treated drivers. This program has been a huge success for us.”

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