During the March 24 meeting of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA), its Board decided to eliminate coverage of sleep studies and positive airway pressure (PAP) treatment for adults 21 and older who are insured by Medicaid. For months the AASM had engaged members in Oklahoma on this issue, and the AASM also submitted comments opposing the proposals, warning that their implementation could lead to devastating health complications for Medicaid beneficiaries who suffer from untreated obstructive sleep apnea.
The Board communicated that it recognizes the potential medical benefits of sleep studies and PAP therapy. However, the OHCA considered these services to be “optional,” and the difficult decision to eliminate coverage for them was made at a time when the OHCA faced a severe budget shortfall.
The AASM will continue to advocate to reinstate coverage for these two important services for the 782,000 Oklahomans who are enrolled in the Medicaid or CHIP program. Without coverage for sleep studies and PAP therapy, a significant portion of the state’s population will experience a burden in accessing necessary medical care for their chronic sleep disease.
The AASM’s Health Policy team is well equipped to be your resource for understanding the federal and state policies affecting your practice and research. For further correspondence and discussion of any potential collaborative opportunities, please contact AASM Senior Health Policy and Government Affairs Analyst, Ted Thurn, by phone at (630) 737-9700, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.