Thursday, March 13, 2008

CMS Approves Home Testing for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Decision Summary
We received a request to reconsider the 2005 National Coverage Determination (NCD) for CPAP Therapy for OSA (CAG-00093R) to allow coverage of CPAP based upon a diagnosis of OSA by home sleep testing (HST). After considering public comments and additional information, we are making the following changes to the NCD for CPAP. The revised indications and limitations NCD are noted in Appendix B.
Coverage of CPAP is initially limited to a 12 week period for beneficiaries diagnosed with OSA as subsequently described. CPAP is subsequently covered for those beneficiaries diagnosed with OSA whose OSA improved as a result of CPAP during this 12 week period.We remind the reader that Durable Medical Equipment, Prothetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) suppliers are required to provide beneficiaries with necessary information and instructions on how to use Medicare-covered items safely and effectively. 42 CFR 424.57(c)(12). Failure to meet this standard may result in revocation of the DMEPOS supplier’s billing privileges. 42 CFR 424.57(d).
CPAP for adults is covered when diagnosed using a clinical evaluation and a positive:
polysomnography (PSG) performed in a sleep laboratory; or
unattended home sleep monitoring device of Type II; or
unattended home sleep monitoring device of Type III; or
unattended home sleep monitoring device of Type IV, measuring at least three channels

We remind the reader that, in general, pursuant to 42 CFR 410.32(a) diagnostic tests that are not ordered by the beneficiary’s treating physician are not considered reasonable and necessary. Pursuant to 42 CFR 410.32(b) diagnostic tests payable under the physician fee schedule that are furnished without the required level of supervision by a physician are not reasonable and necessary.
A positive test for OSA is established if either of the following criterion using the Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI) or Respiratory Distress Index (RDI) are met:
AHI or RDI greater than or equal to 15 events per hour, or
AHI or RDI greater than or equal to 5 and less than or equal to 14 events per hour with documented symptoms of excessive daytime sleepiness, impaired cognition, mood disorders or insomnia, or documented hypertension, ischemic heart disease, or history of stroke. The AHI is equal to the average number of episodes of apnea and hypopnea per hour. The RDI is equal to the average number of respiratory disturbances per hour.
If the AHI or RDI is calculated based on less than two hours of continuous recorded sleep, the total number of recorded events to calculate the AHI or RDI during sleep testing is at least the number of events that would have been required in a two hour period.
We are deleting the distinct requirements that an individual have moderate to severe OSA and that surgery is a likely alternative.

I wish to thank my colleague in Ohio for sending this to me.

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