Besides introductions, the conversations revolved around the presentations, particularly the one last night that was to other physicians, healthcare professionals and representatives of several health insurers on the island.
One item, not originally addressed in my presentation was outlining the various diagnostic options available to treat sleep apnea. Readers know that I feel more attention needs to paid to treatment and follow-up than determining whether disease is present or not. But out of respect for Dr. Essebom I added a slide outlining the CMS decision on diagnostic options.
Arriving at the auditorium of the St Elizabeth's hospital, the only such facility on the island. The hall had the characteristics of an A.W.A.K.E. meeting with chairs arranged theater style and a side room with the display of equipment from the two DME's on the island and food.
Dr. Rach and I took turns presenting. I spoke first with an overview of the importance of sleep and the implications of sleep deprivation. Dr. Rach provided a overview of the pathophysiology of sleep apnea, complete with the sights and sounds of apneic events (much to the amusement of the audience).
I followed him with slides on treatment options and closed with a set of suggestions for next steps in a country where payors are not certain what to cover and why.
After the presentations there was a question and answer session that involve not only the presenters, but also Dr. Essebom and several other physicians, included a newly minted oral surgeon a graduate from Howard University in DC.
Overall the presentations were well received. Will they have an impact on how the condition is addressed, only time will tell.
|Me speaking with the Minister of Health|
Today - presentations to the public