Members of the AASM board of directors were on Capitol Hill today to advocate for several legislative and policy priorities related to sleep health. The Hill Day comprised more than 20 in-person and virtual meetings with legislative staff in addition to meetings with Rep. Judy Chu of California and Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis, who is the co-chair of the Sleep Health Caucus.
Among the topics discussed were these three issues:
Permanent Standard Time
The AASM described its opposition to the Sunshine Protection Act, which the Senate passed by unanimous consent in March. The legislation would establish year-round daylight saving time in most of the U.S. starting in November 2023. While the AASM supports the elimination of the biannual time changes in March and November, the AASM position is that permanent standard time is the optimal option for public health and safety because it aligns best with human circadian biology.
In 2020, CMS expanded Medicare telemedicine coverage during the COVID-19 public health emergency to enable beneficiaries to receive a wider range of health care services from their doctors without having to travel to a health care facility. The fiscal year 2022 Omnibus Appropriations Act extended these flexibilities for an additional 151 days following the end of the public health emergency. The AASM requested support for the further extension of these provisions as proposed in legislation such as H.R. 6202 and S. 3593.
Medicare Physician Payment Cuts
Without Congressional action, physicians will experience of series of Medicare payment cuts in 2023 due to federal budgetary rules. With sleep medicine practices still recovering from recent payment cuts, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Philips recall of certain PAP devices, the looming cuts will be devastating to sleep physicians and will threaten patient access to care. The AASM urged legislators to take action to prevent these payment cuts.
Visit the Advocacy page to get more information on the AASM’s legislative and policy priorities and to participate in our current campaigns. AASM members can submit questions about these issues to firstname.lastname@example.org.