Monday, January 07, 2008

osa home testing hits the mainstream media

This is the first news article I've seen about home testing for osa outside of an industry publication:
Last month, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, which represents sleep centers, changed its position to say home tests can help certain high-risk patients - but should be administered by sleep specialists.Medicare's proposal wouldn't limit which doctors offer home tests. The American Academy of Otolaryngology, head-and-neck surgeons, requested the change.
There are some inaccuracies in the article, like this statement:
In fact, Medicare concluded a sleep-lab test isn't perfect, either - and thus proposed that all patients get a 12-week trial of CPAP treatment. Only if their doctors certify they're being helped would treatment continue.


Bertha Blanchard said...

this is a blow to us owners of sleep centers. how can we capitalize on this? can we own the home systems and get reimbursement? medically this home testing may be dangerous for the negatives and overtreat the positive. i am writing all legislators tomorrow

Bertha Blanchard said...

continuing, i am concerned that with home testing, those patients that test negative will be lulled into thinking that they no longer have a problem and that their sleep disturbance is no longer a problem. i believe this dangerous and that although home testing has its place and should be available, nothing beats the laboratory and certified polysomnographic technologists watching the patient and monitering and assuring REM sleep occurs.

Bertha Blanchard said...

and now it appears that they will reimburse for the CPAP but no word that they will reimburse for the home test! not fair for the patients. not a well thought out position for CMS to take

Michael Rack, MD said...

Bertha Blanchard:
thanks for your comments. You raise some valid points. In about 2 months we'll find out CMS's final decision.
I agree with you concern that some patients will be lulled by false negative home studies.
I think that CMS will reimburse for portable studies, but it will be a lot lower than for in-lab studies.