Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Failure of the AASM Leadership

The Feb 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine has an editorial on "Why CMS Approved Home Sleep Testing for CPAP Coverage", by Dr. Chediak, President of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The editorial is a glaring whitewash of AASM's role in this debacle. A sample statement from this editorial is: "While there was variance in the degree of conviction, in general, the AASM, ACCP, and ATS testified against the indiscriminate use of HST" (HST= home sleep testing).
Dr. Chediak makes no mention of the AASM Task Force Report on Portable Monitors in the Diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This report, which came out in the middle of the CMS decision making process, basically came out in favor of home testing (when performed by sleep physicians in AASM-accredited sleep centers). After the task force report came out, the perception among CMS officials and the public was that the AASM had approved of home testing. After this task report came out, how could CMS not approve of home testing?
Valid arguements can be made in favor of HST. However for the AASM to initially come out against HST and then months later publish a task force report that was widely viewed as being an endorsement of HST is an incredible lack of leadership on the part of the AASM's Board of Directors.
I think that every member of the AASM Board of Directors who voted to approve the Task Force Report should resign.

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