OIG rejects sleep proposal

Friday, December 28, 2012

DARIEN, Ill. – It’s back to the drawing board for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) in its efforts to expand the role of physicians in sleep therapy.

The association in 2011 submitted a proposal to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) seeking to create a safe harbor that would allow board-certified sleep physicians to perform and interpret sleep tests and provide CPAP devices to patients. On Nov. 27, the OIG said “no.”

“OIG is not adopting the suggestion to promulgate a new safe harbor,” stated the OIG in its opinion. “The arrangements described are subject to abuse and should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.”

The AASM, for its part, believes that allowing physicians to provide sleep therapy would mean better care for the patients.

“The AASM maintains its position that the current practice model of care for OSA is fragmented, and that board certified sleep medicine physicians and their team are uniquely qualified to provide high quality...treatment services for OSA,” stated President Sam Fleishman in a release.