Sleep Review magazine reports that HMS Diagnostics Inc was recently busted by CMS (Medicare) for having uncertified technicians run sleep studies on Medicare patients:
Sleep Lab Medicare Claims Under Investigation
According to the release, the US Attorney's Office seems to be suggesting that any CPT 98510 or CPT 98511 study not actually performed by a credentialed technician cannot be billed. The fact that the credentialed technician is on site and supervising apparently is not a factor, HMS Diagnostics stated in the release.
Rest of quote from Sleep Review article deleted, due to their request
“If what CMS is saying is true, then the amount of money that would be owed to Medicare by the industry is phenomenal,” says Goodman. “The liability potential on an industry such as ours with Medicare could be a very big number.”
This is a disturbing development. The requirement for tech certification is virtually unknown in the sleep community. On the AASM message boards, we were recently discussing a new CMS regulation that All studies are to be done by a certified polysomnographer by January 1, 2008 in Arkansas, Louisiana, Eastern Missouri, New Mexico, and Oklahoma and by October 1, 2008 in Rhode Island; and the consensus was that uncertified technicians were ok for the time being in most other states. Most sleep labs have a combination of certified and uncertified techs, and I agree with the article that if CMS is going to enforce this newly discovered regulation, the amount of money owed would be phenomenal.