As the present health care system is transformed by policy and technology, the AASM is spearheading efforts to foster a comprehensive sleep health care model for our patients.  As I announced, the Board of Directors has approved a public relations plan that brands the sleep team, promotes longitudinal care for patients with sleep disorders, and heightens awareness of sleep among the general public.

A concurrent initiative to create a Safe Harbor is launching this month. 

Currently, the Physicians Self-Referral Law (‘Stark’),  prevents a sleep physician from administering durable medical equipment (like CPAP) to patients who are Medicare beneficiaries after conducting a sleep test and prescribing therapy.  To effectively and successfully manage our patients’ care, we believe it is important to replace the outdated and fragmented algorithm for care that currently exists with a new model that ensures the patient is managed by sleep medicine physicians and their team throughout the course of their disorder.  The key to ensuring effective and successful patient care management is allowing sleep medicine physicians and their team to administer CPAP therapy and provide all related education and follow-up.  Over the course of the next year, we will work with legislators to advocate for this Safe Harbor for sleep medicine physicians to not only protect patient care but your medical practice.  Learn more about our efforts and find out how you can get involved in this important initiative on the Legislation section of the AASM website.

If you haven’t already checked out the improved Inter-scorer Reliability assessment system, I encourage you to visit the newly redesigned Inter-scorer Reliability website and learn more about the program’s many enhancements.  The ISR assessment system is just one service offered by the AASM that fosters professional development and education for sleep center staff.  Be sure to visit the AASM online store to learn about more resources that positively impact your professional practice.

Sam Fleishman, MD
AASM President