Dear Colleagues,

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) Board of Directors met in Colorado Springs the weekend of August 10-12, 2007, for our first meeting of the 2007-2008 year.

This meeting was the first of my presidency and I am extremely pleased with the amount of work we accomplished over the weekend. My transition to president was easy thanks in part to the strong foundation set by Dr. Michael Silber during his exemplary term as president and his tenure on the Board of Directors. We welcomed Dr. Daniel Glaze to the Board of Directors, and look forward to the perspectives, knowledge and insight he will bring as a pediatric sleep medicine specialist.

We spent the weekend discussing important issues facing our society, profession and field, and below is a summary of our actions.

New Grant Opportunities for Sleep Medicine Fellows

Since the inception of the American Sleep Medicine Foundation (ASMF), the AASM has assumed all costs associated with administration of grant opportunities. This commitment ensures all donations to the ASMF go directly to young investigators and established scientists who are helping to shape the future of our field through research.

At this meeting, the Board of Directors further strengthened the AASM’s commitment to the sleep medicine field and research with the investment of more than $1.8 million via the AASM Physician Scientist Training Award, which will be administered by the ASMF.

The AASM recognizes the challenges sleep medicine fellows encounter in securing funding as support from the National Institutes of Health and other private sources is increasingly limited. The AASM Physician Scientist Training Award is a one-year grant in the amount of $75,000 that supports research in sleep medicine by a trainee at an ACGME-accredited sleep medicine fellowship program. The investment from the AASM allows the ASMF to award five grants each year for the next five years – a total of 25 AASM Physician Sleep Scientist Awards.

The AASM Physician Scientist Training Award is in addition to the $1.1 million the ASMF has awarded this year to researchers in sleep. At the Discovering the Secrets of Sleep dinner held during the SLEEP 2007 Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, Dr. Frank A.J.L. Scheer of the Sleep Disorders Research Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard University, was awarded a grant for his proposal, “Restoration of Sleep in Heart Failure Patients.” Drs. Carol Rosen and Susan Redline of Case Western University were awarded a grant for a large, multi-center trial that will compare portable monitoring to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea followed by CPAP (dose derived by auto-titrating PAP used at home) with polysomnography and CPAP derived by split-night polysomnography. This study follows a paradigm designed to mimic actual practice scenarios, and the aim is to examine both clinical and economic outcomes.

Under the direction of ASMF President Richard Berry, MD, the ASMF Board of Directors is developing a strategic plan, including new mission and vision statements, which will shape the future of sleep medicine research. Learn more about the changes to the ASMF when the new Web site launches in the coming weeks.

Testimony to MedCAC

On behalf of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine I will present testimony to MedCAC on September 12, 2007, regarding national coverage determination 240.4 for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). My testimony is based on current data on wait times for sleep studies and current evidence on the effectiveness of portable monitoring for the diagnosis of OSA. My testimony will be posted on the AASM Web site after the meeting in addition to a link to the official meeting transcript.

Designation for Fellow Members

Last year the Board of Directors created new requirements for status as a Fellow member with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. These requirements, with instruction on how to apply as a Fellow member, are online at The Board of Directors at this meeting approved a designation – FAASM – for use by approved Fellow members to signify their professional achievement in sleep medicine.

CPT Code for Actigraphy

The Health Policy Committee prepared the application for the revised Current Procedural Terminology(CPT) code for Actigraphy. The application will be submitted to the American Medical Association’s CPT Editorial Panel for consideration later this year.

New Standards of Practice Paper

The Standards of Practice Committee completed “Practice Parameters for the Use of Auto-Titrating Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Devices for Titrating Pressures and Treating Adult Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome: An Update for 2007.” An announcement in the Weekly Update will detail publication information.

In January the Board of Directors approved a new practice parameter, “Indications for Polysomnography and Related Procedures in Children,” and the committee is currently conducting an extensive literature review on this topic.

Electronic Medical Records

Electronic medical records are becoming more common in everyday practice as health care providers and hospitals seek the most comprehensive and efficacious method to transcribe and maintain medical records of patients. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has been investigating the role of electronic medical records in sleep centers as part of its ongoing commitment to advancing the field. Look for more information about electronic medical records on the Web site in the coming weeks as well as a survey on the topic.

I encourage you to visit the AASM Web site frequently for updates on these initiatives as well as ongoing projects of the Board of Directors and the committees. As always, I am committed to communication with members and welcome your thoughts and comments.


Alex Chediak, MD