CPAPs in sleep labs? ‘I’m against the idea’

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

BALTIMORE--Providers may see more competition for supplying CPAPs this year.

Responding to new CMS guidelines for sleep therapy, including a potentially bigger role for sleeb labs, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) began developing DME accreditation guidelines for labs this month.

“CMS has enacted several policies that affect the practice of sleep medicine, (including) a recent CMS policy regarding the accreditation of sleep disorders centers as suppliers of DME,” stated AASM President Mary Esther in a letter to members.

The association, which has created a task force of “experts in the area of accreditation and DME,” will develop additional standards, Esther stated.

Provider Todd Cressler doesn’t know of any local sleep labs that provide DME.

“I am definitely against the idea,” said Cressler, president and CEO of CressCare Medical in Harrisburg, Pa.

There may be a perception among sleep labs that HMEs don’t always provide the best follow-up care, says Kelly Riley, director of the Med Group’s National Respiratory Network. That could spell opportunity for labs, she said.

“They see a gap and they are going to fill it,” she said. “There’s a lot of super HMEs out there, but all it takes is one who doesn’t do a good job managing patient outcomes.”

Riley suggests providers establish themselves in their communities as the go-to place for sleep awareness.

“Don’t let them think you just move boxes and blowers and masks,” she said.