CMS considers in-home sleep testing

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Sunday, April 25, 2004

April 26, 2004

WASHINGTON - The struggle to get Medicare to pay for multi-channel home sleep testing as an alternative to polysomnography (PSG) took on new urgency earlier this month after CMS called for comments on a request that the Medicare program reassess its national coverage determination for the diagnosis of OSA.
Currently, Medicare only accepts PSG performed in a sleep lab to identify patients with OSA requiring CPAP
In his letter to CMS, Terence M. Davidson, M.D., director of a sleep clinic at the University of California in San Diego, spelled out a persuasive case for in-home testing.
He noted 14 studies involving 747 patients using eight different multi-channel home sleep tests in 10 different countries demonstrate excellent correlation  between multi-channel home sleep studies and PSG.
“Therefore it is proposed that the portable multi-channel home sleep test be used as an alternative for polysomnograhy performed in a sleep laboratory in the evaluation of OSA,” Davidson writes.
Although CMS has heard such requests from home-based sleep providers in the past, the administration has now taken the unusual step of asking for public comment on the issue.
Comments will be accepted through May 8. To comment, see the CMS tracking sheet at www.cms.hhs.gov/mcd/viewtrackingsheet.asp?id=110 and reply via e-mail to the analysts identified.

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