Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Graymark, Okla. Heart Hospital Open Sleep Medicine Center

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Graymark, Okla. Heart Hospital Open Sleep Medicine Center

Article excerpt

Graymark Healthcare Inc. of Oklahoma City and Oklahoma Heart Hospital have established a joint venture to provide sleep medicine, particularly to patients with cardiovascular problems.

OHH/Nocturna of Edmond, a four-bed sleep facility, opened this week at 428 W. 15th St. While Graymark has five other sleep facilities in Oklahoma, this is the first that caters to a specific population. It operates through Graymark's subsidiary, Nocturna Sleep Centers.

"Sleep disorders are the third most common reason people go see a doctor, after colds and headaches," said Joe Harroz, president of Graymark Healthcare. "One of the biggest correlations with sleep apnea is cardiovascular issues. We wanted to combine the best of Oklahoma's cardiologists with the best in sleep medicine."

Under the agreement, Graymark will work for Oklahoma Heart Hospital on a per-patient basis, Harroz said. A prescription is required to perform a sleep study, and if a person tests positive for a sleep disorder, a separate prescription is required for a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, he said.

Physicians from Oklahoma Heart Hospital will refer patients to the sleep center, and diagnoses will be sent back to the doctor, Harroz said. However, physicians from other hospitals and clinics are welcome to send patients as well, and people can contact the center directly.

"We look at it as an opportunity to be a part of the health care solution," Harroz said. "If patients can avoid cardiovascular events, it will be much cheaper for them and the insurance companies."

Dr. Dianne Gasbarra serves as medical director for OHH/Nocturna of Edmond, and Harroz said he anticipates the center will have 12 employees.

Dr. John Harvey, CEO/president of Oklahoma Heart Hospital, said his hospital has always used external labs for patients needing a sleep disorder diagnosis. …

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