Fragmenting Healthcare

Only sleep physicians have the expertise and medical training to treat sleep diseases. Support an exception to the Stark Law for sleep medicine; support continuous sleep care from diagnosis through therapy.

The Stark Law, Section 1877 of the Social Security Act, prohibits qualified physicians from providing therapeutic devices directly to their Medicare patients. For sleep patients, such equipment is absolutely necessary for their comprehensive sleep care. Sleep physicians are particularly burdened by the Stark Law due to the growing prevalence and severity of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and medical equipment that is necessary for healthy, restorative sleep.

The Stark Law has created a fragmented healthcare system, keeping Medicare patients at an arm’s length from the treatment of a board certified sleep physician.

Rather than receiving Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) equipment and personalized treatment from their trusted physician and medical team, the Stark Law forces patients to interact with an outside durable medical equipment (DME) supplier who lacks the proper medical training to serve the needs of American patients. This prohibition adds:

  • An unnecessary layer of complexity to the treatment plan for Medicare patients;
  • A reduced level of physician involvement in the long-term care of Medicare patients; and
  • Increased opportunities for miscommunications and mistakes in the provision of therapeutic equipment.

For all questions, comments, and opportunities for collaboration, please contact AASM advocacy staff ( at (630) 737-9700.