“Employer purchasing of health benefits is undergoing a transformation,” writes Bruce Sherman, MD, in “Obstructive sleep apnea and health benefits purchasing: an employer perspective,”  an editorial in the March 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.  A former sleep center co-director, Sherman is now a corporate medical director supporting employer health benefits purchasing strategy development. 

He notes that employers are taking a greater interest in the diagnosis and treatment of OSA.  Companies benefit when the management of employees’ co-morbid conditions improves and workplace productivity and safety is promoted.  However, employers also are focusing on containing health care costs.  As a result, interest in out of center sleep testing is rising, business supply chain management principles are being applied to health care purchasing, and innovative employer benefit strategies are being designed. 

“Sleep center directors need to understand that transformation in both healthcare supply chain management and benefit design is occurring rapidly,” Sherman writes. “With the prevalence and total costs of sleep disorders in the workforce, it is likely only a matter of time before employers begin to implement innovative and aggressive cost management strategies.”