CTA, OSA Canada launch sleep apnea screening & treatment pilot
May 30, 2012 9:47 AM
The Canadian Trucking Alliance, in partnership with OSA Canada Inc, is launching a first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada to deliver a full service sleep apnea program to commercial truck drivers. Where ever a fleet is located in the country, OSA Canada will visit a terminal to screen, test, and diagnose drivers as well as equip and train identified drivers with sleep apnea to use their CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) treatment machine and mask--all within 72 hours or less.
OSA Canada will provide ongoing monitoring of the CPAP equipment to ensure both driver comfort and compliance. Companies will not only know they are providing drivers with a tool to mitigate the negative impacts associated with sleep apnea; they will know that this tool is being properly used. For a monthly fee, the OSA Canada program will offer companies and drivers all the requirements of the Canadian medical and legal community--creating a turnkey solution for both management and drivers.
"The OSA Canada program will offer a turnkey solution for fleets whose commercial drivers are dealing with the challenges of sleep apnea," says Mark Sylvia, president, OSA Canada. "Carriers will never have to worry about access to sleep beds, CPAP machines breaking down, or drivers having difficulty finding the right mask. Equipment will be replaced and re-fitted no questions asked."
Part of the strength of OSA Canada includes the involvement of Precision Pulmonary Diagnostics LLC in helping to deliver and monitor the therapy being provided to drivers under the program. PPD has screened over 40,000 truck drivers for trucking companies, including Schneider National and Swift Transportation. They have also provided and monitored the therapy program for over 3,000 drivers who have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea.
"We at PPD are very happy to provide our unmatched experience and expertise in the delivery of the OSA Canada program. With our involvement, clients of OSA Canada can be assured from day one they will be dealing with a full service sleep apnea solution team that is driver-focused and on standby to assist 24-7," says Dr Mark Berger, president PPD and senior medical advisor to OSA Canada. "Our years of experience have helped us to understand the issues and concerns of trucking managers and their drivers.
"Our program is based on a full service model. Competitors may want to sell machines to the industry in Canada, but through OSA Canada they can rest easy knowing they will be provided a solution that fits the needs of individual drivers and companies and is backed by our unparalleled customer support."
In 2012, the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee and Medical Review Board adopted 11 recommendations related to sleep apnea in the trucking industry, which includes requiring all drivers with a body mass index measurement of 35 or higher to be tested for the condition.
Since 2010, CTA has been working with various partners, including its group benefits provider Group Health, to put a Canadian sleep apnea program together in anticipation of a possible regulatory requirement in the Unites States.
"FMCSA took a significant step toward potential regulation of the screening and treatment of drivers at risk for obstructive sleep apnea," says David Bradley, CTA chief executive officer. "Although it may still take some time for this regulation to materialize, the Canadian Trucking Alliance has been working on a solution for all Canadian carriers regardless of where they are domiciled--the creation of OSA Canada has provided that solution."
Beyond regulatory compliance, OSA Canada shares data with potential customers showing on-road performance improvements of fleets using sleep apnea programs along with driver retention and other operating reduction cost benefits. For those who would like to become a part of the pilot and arrange a scheduled visit by OSA Canada please e-mail Sandy Pollock, manager of sleep services at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 289-337-8892. Pilot participants receive a reduced fee for their participation.
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