From the National Sleep Foundation:
Effective September 1, 2005, Missouri Medicaid will no longer cover many kinds of durable medical equipment (DME), including positive airway pressure (PAP or CPAP) devices which are the mainstay of treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.
NSF Chairman, Barbara Phillips, MD, MSPH, explained, "This is a dangerous public health decision, not just for the 1 in 20 Missourians who have sleep apnea, but also for those on the roads and in the cars with them." Sleep apnea causes adverse or worsens many health problems, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cognitive impairment and cerebrovascular accidents. CPAP treatment is effective in reversing these consequences. More important for all Missourians, however, is the fact that untreated sleep apnea results in automobile crashes; the risk of this is normalized with CPAP treatment. Budgetary limitations are a sad fact of life, but it's important to know that the cost of care of patients with sleep apnea goes down after CPAP treatment is initiated. The decision to eliminate coverage of DME passed by the Missouri State Legislature in Senate Bill 539 endangers the health of all Missourians, and will likely cost more money in the long run if enacted. Sleep Health Advocates are urged to contact their legislators if they are Missourians (www.moga.state.mo.us/) as well as the Missouri Medicaid Offices.
Learn more here.