On the AASM discussion forum (open to members only), some have been advocating that sleep physicians comment on the CMS (Medicare) website either 1) in oppostion to home testing for osa or 2) to request that home testing be limited to certain devices or to AASM accredited sleep labs. I posted this on the AASM discussion forum a few minutes ago:
I am not going to comment on the CMS website comment section because:
1. Home testing is inevitable. How can a sleep physician argue against home testing when industry publications, such as Sleep Review Magazine, have "AASM Approves Home Sleep Testing to Detect Sleep Apnea" as one of their headlines.
2. Some have argued that sleep physicians should try to limit home testing to type 3 devices, as opposed to type 4. This would make very little economic difference to sleep centers. Frankly, if home testing is going to be a reality, I would like the freedom to pick the device that I, as a sleep professional, felt was most appropriate for the situation. For example, home oximetry could be useful for triaging patients to psg vs split-night study. Here is a study from the JCSM that supports the use of the ApneaLink, a single channel recording device: http://www.aasmnet.org/jcsm/Articles/030409.pdf
3. Some have argued that home testing should be limited to AASM-accredited labs. As an accreditation site visitor for nearly a year, it is my understanding that AASM accreditation was always meant to be voluntary, and that the AASM's position was that it did not promote accreditation status as being necessary for insurance reimbursement. The AASM is not a government agency! I don't think that the AASM should have the power to determine which sleep labs are elgible for government (Medicare) reimbursement. Michael Rack, MD