Annual dues for a physician, dentist, or PhD are only $50 per calendar year. This includes a $35 discount to the Annual meeting!
Annual dues for a technologist or trainee are only $35 per calendar year. This includes a $25 discount to the Annual meeting!
Sign up your lab as a member! Be listed on our website, provide free admission and education credits for two or three technologists to our Annual Meeting, plus more benefits.
Sign up today!
Our annual meeting will take place on Friday and Saturday, November 9-10, at the Wyndham Princeton Hotel and Conference Center. We have a wonderful amphitheater for the lectures, and improved space for the exhibitors. Once again we have national quality speakers, including Dr. Emmanuel Mignot from Stanford who is one of the world's experts on narcolepsy, and Dr. Richard Ferber from Harvard, one of the founders of the field of pediatric sleep medicine, as well as speakers from Johns Hopkins, the University of Pennsylvania, and others. You can get more information from our website, www.njsleepsociety.org.
Legislative and Regulatory Update: National
Over the last several months the AASM has been meeting with legislators and administrators in Washington, D.C. to educate and obtain their support for their Safe Harbor proposal. The current Medicare practice model of care for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is fragmented. Current policy and Federal law prevents a sleep physician from providing a sleep test and dispensing the therapeutic durable medical equipment (DME).
Anyone who does could face a felony charge.
Knowingly and willfully receiving or paying anything of value to influence the referral of federal health care program business, including Medicare and Medicaid, is felonious
On December 29, 2011, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a 'Call for Proposal' soliciting proposals for developing new or modifying existing Safe Harbor provisions under the Anti-Kickback Statute. The Safe Harbor provision specifies that although there are various payment and business practices which could potentially violate the self-referral statute, such practices would not be treated as criminal offenses.
The AASM submitted a proposal on January 19, 2012 requesting the OIG to establish a safe harbor for a Board Certified Sleep Medicine Physician (BCSMP). The AASM requested that the BCSMP be allowed to perform a sleep test and distribute the DME equipment to Medicare patients for use in the treatment of OSA. To date, they have not received a response from the OIG. The AASM has been meeting with representatives in Congress and asking them to contact OIG and CMS and request that a Safe Harbor be established for a BCSMP.
The positive outcomes of establishing a Safe Harbor include:
- Increase in Access to Health Care: Access will increase for patients with OSA because physician services, equipment and supplies that are medically necessary to diagnose and treat OSA will be coordinated from one entity - the BCSMP and his/her staff.
- Improved Quality of Health Care Services and Adherence: Quality of care will increase dramatically as will the patient's adherence with treatment since all care, including testing, treatment and long-term follow-up, will be directed and managed by the BCSMP.
- Reduced Cost to the Federal Health Care Programs: The cost to the Federal health care program will decrease dramatically because only medically necessary services, supplies and equipment will be prescribed and delivered to the patient.
- Provision of Services in Medically Underserved Areas or to Medically Underserved Populations: The concept of the BSCMP managing patient care can be replicated in underserved areas and made available to medically underserved populations.
Department of Transportation launches Railroaders' Guide to Healthy Sleep Website
U.S. Department of Transportation launched an interactive, multimedia website intended to reduce on-the-job fatigue among railroad employees by advising them on the importance of obtaining healthy sleep to maintain individual well-being, safety and workplace performance.
The Railroaders' Guide to Healthy Sleep website features an anonymous self-test to screen for possible sleep disorders, a sleep and wake diary for tracking sleep and various tailored and effective strategies for improving the amount and quality of sleep obtained.
Nearby State Legislative Activity
Delaware: Sleep Technologist Licensure
Senate Bill 194 (SB 194), which establishes licensure for sleep technologists, was recently passed by both legislative chambers and has been submitted to the Governor for signature. The bill will require that on July 1, 2014, any person who is engaged in the practice of sleep technology must be licensed.
An applicant applying for a license in sleep technology would be required to submit proof to the Delaware Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline that he or she has met the following requirements:
- Successfully completed an educational program accredited by CAAHEP; or
- A respiratory care educational program accredited by CAAHEP and completion of the curriculum for a polysomnography certificate; or
- An END educational program with a polysomnographic technology track; or
- An A-STEP that is accredited by the AASM; or
- Another educational program approved by the Delaware Medical Board; and
- Passed a nationally recognized exam.
The bill will also allow any individual who is engaged in the practice of polysomnography as of July 1, 2011, to be eligible for licensure without meeting the educational requirement if the individual has passed the BRPT examination.
Maryland: Educational Pathways Expanded
House Bill 827 amends the Maryland Polysomnography Practice Act by recognizing A-STEP as an educational pathway.
Existing statutory language in the Act required that after October 1, 2013, individuals applying for licensure must first complete a CAAHEP program. Currently, there are only two CAAHEP-approved educational programs in the state. This could have precluded many candidates from entering the field of sleep technology. The result could have caused numerous sleep centers not being able to operate at full capacity, and some could have closed their doors entirely, producing an access to care crisis.
Recognizing A-STEP will allow more potential technologists to enter the field. However, the bill does include a caveat. The language requires that individuals must also complete a clinical component of an educational program established by the Committee and Approved by the Board.