Sleep Coaches heightens patient engagement

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Friday, January 31, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS – Mark Boardman has sold his HME business to focus on his proprietary CPAP resupply platform and live-call program called Sleep Coaches.

Boardman first developed the program for his business, after realizing there had to be a better way to connect with his CPAP patients, who only responded to automated phone calls about 15% of the time.

“Right after the patient is set up on CPAP, we have respiratory therapists start following up and we let the patient know that they have a sleep coach for life,” said Boardman, CEO of Sleep Coaches, which provides its services to providers for a management fee. “By starting to follow up right away—more in that first 30 days—our compliance rates jumped dramatically.”

Those higher compliance rates, in turn, lead to an increase in resupply orders for providers, as patients reorder supplies on a more regular basis.

Providers that work with Sleep Coaches have seen their sales average jump from 1.3 orders per patient using an automated phone system to between 2.8 and 3.2 orders per patient using sleep coaches, Boardman says, thanks to the program’s clinically forward, patient-centric approach.

“When they are putting calls into the patient, they are figuring out where they are on the spectrum,” he said. “Some patients have their doubts (about CPAP) and don’t know if this is something they want to move forward on. We need to be managing from a behavioral science standpoint to get the right outcome.”

Once a patient is compliant, the level of contact—by phone, email, text, app or online patient portal—is reduced, in many cases to once every 90 days, although some patients prefer more frequent contact, says Boardman.

Sleep Coaches also tracks patient compliance data, which providers can take back to their referral sources, says Boardman.

“Data is extremely important so they understand how we are managing the program and how their patients are doing,” he said. “The magic word is patient engagement.”