Improving CPAP Patient Compliance

In Webcast, National Sleep Therapy’s Eric Cohen Discusses Ways to Improve CPAP Patient Compliance, Manage Sleep Therapy

“Adherence is something the patient should want to do so they can sleep better, whereas compliance is something they need to do for insurance and reimbursement purposes,” Eric Cohen, President of National Sleep Therapy, told several hundred participants in a recent national webcast on CPAP compliance. The webcast was sponsored by medical device maker ResMed in association with Sleep Review Magazine (

Cohen, who previously worked in new product innovation for Fortune 500 companies, noted, “Helping and coaching a few patients along the compliance road is easy, but doing so for thousands of people, all with different needs and experiences, requires a more sophisticated approach. To achieve the best health outcomes, you must build a strong relationship and become a trusted advisor.”

Cohen explained how National Sleep Therapy’s care model features many ‘touch points’ to make sure that every patient can engage in a way that works for them, dubbing it “The Design of the Experience.” Among CPAP patient touch-points that help to ensure adherence / compliance are thorough training of new patients; use of videos and an iPad training app so patients feel empowered and in control; and ongoing contact via Facebook, clinicians, newsletters, and a monthly virtual support group. “We give people a platform to engage on their terms so they will do so readily and happily,” Cohen said.

Behind the scenes, NST measures everything to constantly improve outcomes from patients and performance by all its staff. “Helping patients become adherent to therapy is a team effort between our company, the patient, and their physician. In this integrated approach, we must add value to both stakeholders to be seen as a true partner,” Cohen said.

By having a clear corporate mission to help patients succeed on CPAP therapy and developing a carefully structured patient engagement and support system, NST has created a patient population that is engaged, inspired, and motivated to be successful.

Eric Cohen told the webcast audience, “With a little help from technology, and basic principles on how to engage, motivate, and inspire, we’ve created a real team focused on CPAP success. And lots of people are sleeping more soundly resulting in a better quality of life, maybe even a longer life.”

National Sleep Therapy ( has earned a reputation as an industry pioneer. NST sponsors a monthly free virtual support group for people with sleep apnea and healthcare pros ( For more information, contact 888.867.8840 or

Former Bodybuilding Champ Muscles His Way into A Good Night’s Sleep

“CPAP Helps Me Sleep So I Can Enjoy Watching My Grandchildren Grow Up.”

“Sleeping isn’t the best way to spend your life – but getting a good night’s sleep is the key to a better quality of life – and can help you live longer.”

The speaker is ‘Big Mike’ Katz who just celebrated his 70th birthday. Ten years ago he decided that sleep apnea wouldn’t stop him from enjoying his four grandchildren, his exercise regimen, his personal training, judging professional IFBB bodybuilding competitions around the world, or running his five Planet Fitness centers near his Connecticut home. An early advocate of the Special Olympics, Katz was a public high school health education teacher in which he earned advanced degrees.

If the name sounds familiar, Katz played for the N. Y Jets starring Joe Namath, was a former Mr. Olympia bodybuilding champ, and co-starred in the acclaimed mid-1970’s classic documentary Pumping Iron with his long-time friends Arnold Schwarzenegger (see photo) and Lou Ferrigno (‘The Incredible Hulk’). Katz is a client of National Sleep Therapy ( which provides his CPAP equipment that allows him to get the deep sleep his big frame needs.

“I was in my 50’s when a cardiologist discovered my atrial fibrillation,” recalls Katz. “The irregular heartbeat was either genetic or due to weight gain. By my early 60’s, I found that I was always tired and had less energy. The doctor recommended a sleep test at Gaylord Sleep Center in North Haven. I learned that though I was in bed for 8 hours each night, I wasn’t getting the deep sleep I needed. I was having almost 50 apnea episodes per hour and my oxygen levels were dropping dramatically.”

“I was getting depressed. While my buddies were having fun at the casino, I was looking for a place to nap,” says Katz. “Sleep apnea sapped my energy and stopped me from doing fun things -- playing with my grandchildren, working out, staying awake at the movies. I knew it was serious when my wife began sleeping in another room due to my snoring.”

“When I first got my CPAP, it took a few tries to find a mask that was comfortable,” he says. “My advice: Be patient, try again. The results will be extraordinary. A dramatically improved quality of life will be worth the small effort it takes.” Katz maintains an active schedule, follows his Planet Fitness exercise regimen, and swears by a Qivana nutritional program.

Just before Thanksgiving, Katz’s CPAP device stopped working. Most of National Sleep Therapy’s staff was gone for the holiday weekend, but Eric Cohen, NST co-founder and president, fielded Katz’s call. Cohen arranged for a new machine in one day without any paperwork. Katz says, “Great customer service – and I really appreciated it since I didn’t miss that good night’s sleep that I depend on so much.”

The next day, fully rested Katz was up early, touring his fitness centers, now run by his son, Mike, Jr. “I’d rather count money than sheep,” he smiles. “Most important, I don’t want to sleep through my grandkids’ childhood – waking up when they’re 16, wondering where the time went.”

National Sleep Therapy has earned a reputation as an industry pioneer. NST sponsors a monthly free virtual support group for people with sleep apnea and healthcare pros ( ), and offers live video support by appointment for patients. The company made the ‘Inc. 5000’ list as ‘One of Fastest-Growing Private U.S. Companies.’ For more information, contact 888.867.8840 or

-Stanley Hurwitz / (508) 269-0570 /

Eric Cohen Is Panelist for National CPAP Compliance Webcast December 18

President of National Sleep Therapy Joins Expert Panel: How to Improve Patient Compliance
Eric Cohen
Eric Cohen, co-founder and President of National Sleep Therapy, has been selected to serve on a panel of expert presenters who will explore ‘Increasing CPAP Compliance’ among patients with sleep apnea.

During the hour-long webcast, which is free and open to all, scheduled for Thursday, December 18 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm ET), the panel will share the latest in Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) research and advice from practitioners. Cohen, who comes from an engineering background and has invented new style CPAP masks, will offer tips on how to use the relationship with a durable medical equipment supplier to improve patient compliance. Presentations will be followed by audience Q & A.

The webcast, expected to attract several hundred attendees from the health care world, is sponsored by medical device maker ResMed in association with Sleep Review Magazine (

Discussion topics will include:

  • How to identify patients at risk for poor compliance 
  • Innovative ways to convince patients of the urgency of obstructive sleep apnea therapy 
  • How to work together with your DME to improve compliance 
Joining Cohen on the panel are: Emerson Wickwire, Ph. D., co-founder of Howard County Center of Lung and Sleep Medicine; Joseph Ojile, MD, Associate Professor of Health, National Jewish Health; and Mark Aloia, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medicine, National Jewish Health. To register for the webcast, click here.

National Sleep Therapy ( has earned a reputation as an industry pioneer. NST sponsors a monthly free virtual support group for people with sleep apnea and healthcare pros ( For more information, contact 888.867.8840 or

“And How Did You Sleep?” - President of Sleep Therapy Firm Takes New Sleep Apps to Bed

The president and co-founder of a leading sleep therapy company recently “put his head where his pillow is” -- testing a few new products on behalf of customers seeking a better night’s sleep.

Twenty-four people with sleep apnea from 11 states joined Eric Cohen of National Sleep Therapy (NST) ( in a fun and informative discussion about new apps designed to help people get more ZZZ’s. Participants from as far as Virginia, North Carolina and Illinois joined in the December edition of ‘CPAP Talk - Live!’ – a free monthly virtual support group sponsored by NST. (

Cohen says, “Anyone who regularly gets a good night’s sleep is lucky. But for 18 million Americans, sleep apnea can affect the quality of life and life expectancy itself. Doctors may prescribe CPAP therapy (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.) for patients with sleep disordered breathing.

A highlight of the session was Cohen’s personal review of new sleep therapy apps. He used the new Sleep Cycle app for four nights: “While you sleep it measures body movement and tells what stages of sleep you’re in. It really seemed to reflect how I felt I was sleeping. In the morning, it wakes you gently when you're in your shallowest sleep. If you’re having trouble sleeping or falling asleep, the app may identify when you're having trouble -- and that might help lead to solutions.”

The second app Cohen tried is Relax and Sleep Well -- recordings by a leading hypnotherapists. “I listened to his voice telling me to think of a quiet place, to hear the waves crashing, to let the day go.” Cohen found it distracting but admits he fell asleep before the recording ended. He also used both of these apps together with mixed results. A follow-up email was sent to participants with a complete review and with links to these apps if they wanted to try them as well.

He discussed a new product, the S+ by ResMed that monitors sleeping patterns. It uses radio waves to sense motion and breathing patterns plus body positions. The product was not available for testing, but Cohen promised to try it and report during the next ‘CPAP Talk Live!’ session on January 7. The group also discussed SoClean, a product that destroys bacteria, viruses, and mold in the CPAP and all parts at once without chemicals or water. As always, the session featured questions from callers or submitted via email which Cohen or guest experts addressed.

‘CPAP Talk – Live!’ is free and open to anyone with sleep apnea and who needs encouragement, support or information. Sessions are held on the first Wednesday of each month from 7 – 8 pm (Eastern time). The next one is January 7. Interested individuals may send questions in advance via Facebook or using the form. During each session, CPAP Talk-Live! gives away a $25 gift card to one lucky participant. For more information: 888.867.8840 or - Stanley Hurwitz / (508) 269-0570 / CPAP 120914 120314 event

CPAP Talk-Live December Topics: Gadgets, Apps, and Better Sleep

Can an iPhone really improve your sleep?

In movies and cartoons, people who snore are often used as punch lines and laughingstocks. But an affliction like sleep apnea really isn’t a laughing matter. Some 20 million Americans have sleep apnea -- but most have yet to be diagnosed!

A free group virtual support session, ‘CPAP Talk –Live!,’ for anyone who has (or thinks they have) sleep apnea is set for Wednesday, Dec. 3 from 6 – 7 pm (ET). The town-hall-style forums are held at the same time on the first Wednesday of each month, sponsored by National Sleep Therapy ( Last month, 30 people from 10 states participated. (To participate: Just prior to the session, call 1-800.204.6655, enter access code 342-2187#.)

National Sleep Therapy President and session host Eric Cohen, says, “Snoring may indicate that an individual has sleep apnea, but chronic fatigue can be a more subtle red flag. A sleep test will tell, and, if confirmed, a physician may prescribe CPAP therapy (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), a device that uses gentle air flow to keep airways open to allow deep sleep.

Ignoring chronic fatigue can exacerbate high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and/or weight gain, as well as highway or workplace accidents. Untreated, lack of deep sleep can lead to a lower quality of life and even a shorter life expectancy.

Among topics of the Dec. 3 town hall-style forum will be:

- SoClean – User reviews of a new device that simultaneously disinfects the CPAP mask, headgear, hose and water chamber in about 7 minutes.

- A review of Smartphone apps that can monitor your sleep and/or help you sleep using sound or other relaxation techniques.

- New S+ unit – monitors and analyzes breathing and movements, give suggestions for better sleep.

Interested individuals may also send questions in advance either via Facebook or using the form. During each session, NST gives away a $25 gift card to one participant. For more information: 888.867.8840 or - Stanley Hurwitz / (508) 269-0570 /