A bipartisan legislative initiative in Congress has led to the passage of a bill that requires a formal rulemaking process to be followed for any new or revised requirement related to sleep apnea screening, testing or treatment of commercial motor vehicle operators. The bill, H.R. 3095, was passed by the Senate Oct. 4 after previously passing in the U.S. House of Representatives by a unanimous 450-0 vote. The signature of President Obama is now required for the bill to become law.
The proposed legislation would ensure that comprehensive input is gathered and a thorough analysis is conducted when transportation safety requirements related to sleep apnea are developed. The AASM looks forward to the opportunity to provide all stakeholders involved in the formal regulatory process with expert, evidence-based input on the best practices in sleep medicine to ensure that sleep apnea regulations promote the health of motor vehicle operators and the safety of all drivers on our roadways.
Recommendations on obstructive sleep apnea and the medical certification of commercial motor vehicle drivers were proposed in 2012 by the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee and the Medical Review Board, which are advisory committees of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The AASM supports the FMCSA recommendations, which provide a foundation for the development of formal regulations.