Clinic Vs. Lab Fact Sheet

Difference Between a Sleep Clinic and a Sleep Lab


  • Sleep facility refers to a sleep center that comprise both a clinic, where patients are evaluated, and management occurs and a laboratory where the diagnostic testing is administered through in-center and home sleep apnea testing (HSAT).
  • The sleep clinic is an outpatient location where patients with sleep disorders are evaluated and treated; arrange diagnostic testing, and where patient management and follow up care is provided by professional staff. The location can be within the sleep facility, or in a separate off-site physical location.
  • A sleep lab is the location in which diagnostic testing is performed. This includes in-center testing and/or home sleep apnea testing.

Access to data:

Clinic and Lab in the Same Location Clinic and Lab in Separate Locations

Without Access to the Same Database

Medical record information should be accessed either through the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) or combined Clinic/ Lab database. Data is required to be reported as one entity; information will be separately maintained and collectively totaled at time of the submission of the application.

Strategies that may be utilized to gain access to data for clinics and labs that are separate:

  • Obtain a Business associate Agreement to address sharing of PHI.
  • The clinic can maintain the QA data required by the QA Process and Outcome indicators and then share the data to the lab to include in the quarterly QA report.

Key Things to Keep In Mind

  • If the sleep disorder clinic and associated lab do not have direct access to information, it is necessary to have an affiliation/relationship whether formal or informal to allow access to information.
  • For sleep disorder clinics and labs in separate locations without direct access:
    • There must be a method of how the sleep facility gets information on PAP assessment/compliance to ensure standard H-2 is met.
    • There must be a method of data collection for QA reporting on the clinical Outcome and Process metrics.
    • Regardless of the location for the clinic (i.e. within the center, or in a physician’s separate office), it is still considered part of the sleep facility and must provide information required for the sleep facility as a whole to meet all accreditation standards.
      • If separate medical records are maintained at the sleep disorder clinic and separate medical records are maintained at the sleep disorder lab; at time of the site visit both will be reviewed and considered as one whole comprehensive medical record.