On April 10, AASM members converged on Capitol Hill for the largest Hill Day ever held by the AASM. More than 30 AASM members advocated for sleep-related legislative priorities by meeting with staff from 45 congressional offices. Participating members represented the Advocacy Committee, AASM PAC Advisory Panel, Coding and Compliance Committee, Payer Policy Review Committee, and Board of Directors.  The day concluded with a reception, during which AASM members were able to continue conversations with congressional staffers about the importance of sleep health.

Issues that were a focus of discussion during the Hill Day included:

Permanent Standard Time

The AASM urged congressional officials to oppose the Sunshine Protection Act, which would establish year-round daylight saving time in the U.S. The AASM supports the elimination of the biannual time change; however, permanent standard time is the optimal choice for public health and safety.  The AASM published an updated standard time position statement in January detailing the benefits of standard time for health and safety and the potential harms that result from seasonal time changes to and from daylight saving time. AASM members discussed with each office the need for federal legislation establishing permanent standard time.

Telehealth Expansion

Current telehealth flexibilities that were put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic are set to expire at the end of the year. Without congressional action, patients may experience a decline in access to safe, quality sleep health care provided through telehealth services. AASM members urged offices to co-sponsor and support the CONNECT for Health Act of 2023, which would permanently enshrine many of the current flexibilities, including removal of geographic restrictions on telehealth services and expansion of originating sites. Members emphasized the need for permanent action on this issue, instead of temporary extensions that have been put in place since the pandemic.

Sleep Health Caucus

AASM members explained the importance of sleep to overall health and urged House offices to join the Sleep Health Caucus, which provides an avenue for congressional offices to learn more about issues related to sleep health and take cohesive action on sleep health priorities.

Other topics discussed throughout the day included the Philips PAP device recall, school start times, funding for sleep research, and other issues important to the sleep health community. The AASM holds at least one Hill Day every year to provide members with the opportunity to advocate in-person for federal legislation and policies that improve the health of the nation and advance the field of sleep medicine; however, there are additional opportunities for all members to advocate throughout the year. Our online campaigns allow you to contact your legislators about current federal and state legislation related to our advocacy priorities.

The AASM PAC also serves as a vital tool supporting our advocacy efforts. AASM members in the U.S. are encouraged to donate and attend the Lone Star Fiesta fundraiser at SLEEP 2024 in Houston.