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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Schneider Reports Sleep Apnea Treatment Saves Dollars and Lives

Improvements in Productivity and Reduction in Turnover Also Shown

According to Schneider National‘s recently published report, its sleep apnea screening and treatment program has created a return on investment in the form of savings on medical costs, accident reduction, reduced turnover and increased productivity.

The newsletter of the Truckload Carriers Association drew the following conclusions from the report:
  • Medical costs accrued were slashed in half per month amongst the 348 drivers diagnosed with Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) and were treated.

  • A massive 73 percent reduction in preventable driving accidents occurred among a group of 225 SDB-diagnosed drivers treated with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices, which are breathing masks that use air pressure to prevent airways from closing during sleep.

  • Amongst CPAP-treated individuals, the driver retention rate was 2.29 times higher than the total company driver population in 2004.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released a study in July 2002 stating that 28.1 percent of CDL holders have mild, moderate or severe sleep apnea. Schneider had long been investigating ways to cost-effectively diagnose and treat sleep apnea, according to Schneider's occupational health manager, Wendy Sullivan. In the past three years, Schneider has "recognized a trend in those medical records that sleep apnea had a lot to do with fatigue and hypertension, heart disease and diabetes. With 15,000 drivers, we're scaling this effort and learning as we go. With this sort of return on investment we decided that we're going to pay for the cost of this study and CPAP," the Truckload Carriers Association report noted.

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