Bill would add sleep apnea screening to Medicare preventive physicals

Friday, May 23, 2014

DARIEN, Ill. – Under a bill introduced this week, Medicare would screen for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) during initial preventative physical exams, according to an American Academy of Sleep Medicine release. The bill would add a questionnaire to initial visits performed on or after Jan. 1, 2016, targeting beneficiaries at high risk for the disease. “A sleep apnea screening questionnaire is a simple, validated and cost-effective tool that can be used to identify Medicare patients who are at risk for obstructive sleep apnea,” said Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, founder and co-chair of the Congressional Health Caucus, who introduced the bill. “Diagnosing and treating sleep apnea is essential for effective chronic disease management among seniors.” The American Academy of Sleep Medicine initiated the legislation under its Seniors Sleep program to increase preventive sleep care.