Specialty Practice Accreditation
The AASM has released a new accreditation program for non-sleep medical practices that evaluate and manage patients at high risk for sleep apnea by screening for sleep apnea, performing home sleep apnea tests (HSATs) and facilitating treatment and management of sleep apnea through an AASM-accredited sleep facility.
The Specialty Practice Accreditation program supports the AASM’s mission of advancing sleep care and enhancing sleep health to improve lives. Providing accreditation to specialty practices will improve sleep care access to patients at high risk for sleep apnea who might otherwise have gone undiagnosed and untreated.
Who Should Apply?
Specialty Practice Accreditation is for non-sleep medical practices. Currently, only cardiology practices are eligible to participate in Specialty Practice Accreditation.
Accreditation Fee | New Application
Reaccreditation Fee | Facility Member
Reaccreditation Fee | Non-Member Facility
*Specialty Practice Accreditation fee is limited to a single practice/clinic location. Additional clinic locations of the same specialty practice may be added for an additional $500 each.
Specialty Practice FAQ
A Specialty Practice is a non-sleep medical practice (e.g., cardiology practice) that screens patients for sleep apnea, performs HSAT and facilitates treatment and management of sleep apnea to an AASM-accredited sleep facility.
Currently, cardiology practices that screen patients for sleep apnea, perform HSAT and facilitate treatment and management of sleep apnea in collaboration with an AASM-accredited sleep facility are eligible for Specialty Practice Accreditation. Sleep practices and IDTFs/ entities that solely test patients are not eligible.
Specialty Practice Accreditation is $4500 for a new application or an entity that is reaccrediting and has active facility membership. The reaccreditation fee for non-members is $7200. The Specialty Practice Accreditation fee is limited to a single practice/clinic location. Additional clinic locations of the same specialty practice may be added for an additional $500 each.
The standards require a single Medical Director who is a designated physician licensed in the state where the Specialty Practice is located.
Medical staff members may include physicians, licensed psychologists, APRN, and physician assistants that hold a valid, unrestricted state license in the state where patients are evaluated, diagnosed, or treated. All medical staff members that utilize HSAT must be appropriately trained in the indications for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and HSAT.
Technical staff members must maintain appropriately trained, supervised, and, where required by law, licensed personnel. Technical staff must be trained on the proper use of HSAT devices including device operations, application of sensors, use, maintenance, warnings and safety; instruction of patients in the use of HSAT devices; troubleshooting of HSAT problems; and Infection control.
Scoring personnel must be one of the following: RST, RPSGT, CPSGT, respiratory therapists with the sleep disorders specialist certification (either CRT-SDS or RRT-SDS), or medical staff members/PhDs board-certified in sleep medicine.
All medical staff members that utilize HSAT (e.g., screening for OSA, ordering HSAT) must be appropriately trained in the indications for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and HSAT.
An attestation letter is requested for all medical staff members that they are trained in the indications for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and HSAT.
Scoring personnel must each participate in at least 30 credits (averaged 10 credits per year over the past 36 months) of AMA PRA Category 1 Credit or CEC sleep-related educational activities. This must be documented for each scoring personnel member.
Technical staff is any staff member who provides training on proper use of HSAT devices and performs the following duties:
- Device operations, application of sensors, use, maintenance, warnings and safety;
- Instruction of patients in the use of HSAT devices;
- Troubleshooting of HSAT problems; and
- Infection control.
An attestation letter is requested for all technical staff members indicating they have been trained on the aforementioned duties.
Only licensed physicians who are owners of, or employed by, the Specialty Practice can order HSATs based on the overall assessment of the patient. Prior to ordering HSAT, the patient must be eligible based upon the criteria of the practice’s patient acceptance policy as identified in Standard C-2 Patient Acceptance.
Patients of the Specialty Practice can only be tested. Patients directly referred to the Specialty Practice from another entity cannot be tested.
Per Standard G-2 Sleep Facility Relationship, the Specialty Practice must demonstrate, in writing, an existing relationship with an accessible AASM-accredited sleep facility that will provide full diagnostic sleep testing in a laboratory to Specialty Practice patients when needed and that will provide treatment and follow-up for all Specialty Practice patients who require treatment and/or management for sleep disorders. All treatment and management of identified sleep disorders must be referred to the associated sleep facility.
The Specialty Practice must be able to provide documentation that the patients referred to the AASM-accredited sleep facility are receiving treatment and follow up (i.e., when treatment was initiated, treatment compliance, and ongoing treatment assessments/outcomes).
In-center polysomnography at an AASM-accredited sleep facility must be recommended in cases where adequately performed HSAT does not establish the diagnosis of OSA in patients with a high pre-test probability.
Examples for efficiently gathering data between the Specialty Practice and the AASM-accredited Sleep Facility include utilizing a data collection form at follow-up visits to be a part of the medical record and provided to the Sleep Practice monthly/quarterly. Alternatively, developing a means to access the Accredited Sleep Facility’s EMR to pull data.
All Specialty Practices must maintain appropriate medical records for every sleep patient evaluated and/or tested by the program. Medical records of patients seen by medical staff members must document all interactions with the patient, referring provider or provider’s representative, and insurance company. Medical records must include the referral letter/prescription for HSAT testing, with or without consultation by medical staff members of the Specialty Practice. Prior to testing, all patient medical records must include patient questionnaires or other screening assessment, history and physical, as well as medications record. The record must be reviewed and approved for study by an appropriately licensed medical staff member.
The Specialty Practice must store the raw data from HSATs for a minimum of five years or as required by law if longer.
The data can be retrieved from the AASM-accredited sleep facility or the Specialty Practice. The AASM-accredited lab may use a data collection form at the follow-up visit and include this information as part of the medical record and provide it to the Specialty Practice on a monthly /quarterly basis.
Join AASM membership and save on reaccreditation fees. AASM Facility Members also gain access to benefits including maintenance of accreditation, a listing on SleepEducation.org, discounts on training materials, and more. View full benefits and apply for independent sleep medicine practice accreditation today.