Sleep Well and Live has an interesting post today about the movement for home osa testing and its originator:
At the 2004 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Foundation in New York, Terence Davidson, an Otolaryngologist (ENT) and Dean of Continuing Education at the University of California, San Diego, was invited to give a “mini seminar” entitled “Thinking of Opening a Sleep Lab?” Dr. Davidson could also be called the “father” of the current attempt to get Medicare to approve unattended home testing for sleep apnea. It was his Jan. 29, 2004 letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that argued that the current policy is inhibiting the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) because the nation’s 692 sleep labs are simply too full.
During Dr. Davidson’s presentation in New York, he had some interesting opinions and comments and also seemed to have some conflicts of interest and an astounding degree of arrogance towards the Sleep Medicine and Pulmonary Medicine professions.
Although he has claimed to have no conflicts of interest, Dr. Davidson is on the Medical Advisory Board of Directors of ResMed, Inc. as a paid consultant. ResMed and their auto titration CPAP units stand to benefit substantially from gaining Medicare’s approval of in-home, unattended testing.
As to Dr. Davidson’s assertion that the current policy for our Medicare population is inhibiting the diagnosis of OSA because the nation’s sleep labs are simply too full, recent data from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine states that the availability of sleep laboratories across the United States based on a 2001 study of 2001 data estimates that 427 PSG were performed per year per 100,000 population. (5) Since 2001, the number of sleep laboratories accredited by the AASM has more than doubled to 1,169, with 129 applications having been received in just the first three months of 2007, alone.
In a 2004 AASM survey, there was an average wait of about three weeks for a sleep study or sleep consultation. An independent survey in 2004 by Shariq estimated there were more than 2,500 accredited and non-accredited sleep laboratories in the US with an average wait time for a PSG between two and three weeks.
I encourage you to read the full post.