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Sleep study questions adherence requirements 

Sleep study questions adherence requirements 

SAN DIEGO – Sleep apnea sufferers can gain health benefits from PAP treatment in as little as two hours per night, according to a study led by ResMed and presented at the American Thoracic Society’s annual international conference. 

Researchers found: 

  • The minimum PAP usage threshold for benefit was two to three hours per night (up to 50% lower than the four hours required by CMS and many private insurers to prove adherence); 
  • Benefits begin at two hours of nightly PAP use and increase each hour up to seven hours per night, with benefits seen at 90 days, one year and two years into the study; and 
  • Over the two years, each additional hour of nightly PAP use reduced hospitalizations 5% and ER visits 4.4%. 

“This study can positively change how health care professionals prescribe and encourage sleep apnea sufferers to use PAP – and how they’re covered,” said Atul Malhotra, lead author and research chief of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at the University of California San Diego. 

The retrospective, observational study analyzed the de-identified usage data of 180,000 PAP users in the U.S. to observe their average rates of all-cause hospitalization and emergency room visits based on the number of nightly hours they use PAP, from zero to nine. 

Today, CMS defines PAP therapy adherence as using a PAP device for at least four hours per night for 70% of nights in a consecutive 30-day period in the first 90 days of therapy. Patients who do not achieve adherence may risk losing their machines after 90 days or having to pay for it themselves, depending on their insurance coverage. 

“If just two hours of nightly PAP use can significantly lower a patient’s risk of getting hospitalized, our health systems should encourage and enable people to access and keep using these solutions,” Malhotra said. 


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