The end of 2015 brings to a close an eventful year for the field of sleep medicine that included the introduction by the AASM of new scoring rules, clinical practice guidelines, and a state-of-the-art telemedicine platform that was designed specifically for sleep clinicians. Here is a selection of some of the top headlines and highlights from the past year:
1. AASM develops new telemedicine system to promote patient access to sleep care
AASM SleepTM, which was custom-built by the AASM, provides a comprehensive telemedicine solution for the field of sleep medicine.
2. Publication of sleep medicine quality measures promotes value-based care
The AASM published new quality measures for five common sleep disorders, which was a landmark achievement in the promotion of high quality, patient-centered care in the medical subspecialty of sleep medicine.
3. New consensus statement provides a clear recommendation for adult sleep duration
A joint consensus statement developed by the AASM and the Sleep Research Society recommends that adults sleep 7 or more hours per night on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
4. Special Safety Notice: ASV therapy for central sleep apnea patients with heart failure
The AASM responded to a field safety notice released by ResMed, which addressed the use of adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV) to treat central sleep apnea syndrome in patients who also have heart failure.
5. New clinical practice guidelines provide recommendations for sleep disorders treatment
The AASM published two clinical practice guideline updates in 2015: “Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Snoring with Oral Appliance Therapy: An Update for 2015”; and “Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Intrinsic Circadian Rhythm Sleep-Wake Disorders: Advanced Sleep-Wake Phase Disorder (ASWPD), Delayed Sleep-Wake Phase Disorder (DSWPD), Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Rhythm Disorder (N24SWD), and Irregular Sleep-Wake Rhythm Disorder (ISWRD). An Update for 2015.”
6. MOC Update: ABIM eliminates requirement for underlying certification
Following nearly a year of advocacy by the AASM, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) announced that diplomates certified in sleep medicine will no longer need to maintain underlying certification in internal medicine or another ABIM subspecialty in order to remain certified in sleep medicine.
7. New sections included in updated Version 2.2 of the AASM Scoring Manual
The AASM released Version 2.2 of the AASM Manual for the Scoring of Sleep and Associated Events, which includes the addition of two new sections: sleep staging rules for infants and home sleep apnea testing (HSAT) rules for adults. The date by which all AASM accredited sleep facilities and HSAT programs are required to implement the rules in Version 2.2 was extended to Jan. 15, 2016.
8. AASM invites public comments on proposed changes to AASM Standards for Accreditation
Recognizing that proposed changes to the Standards for Accreditation represent a significant development for the field of sleep medicine, the AASM requested comments from AASM members, accredited entity staff and other stakeholders.
9. New position paper supports use of telemedicine by sleep specialists
A position paper published by the AASM supports telemedicine as a means of advancing patient health by improving access to the expertise of board-certified sleep medicine specialists.
10. CMS finalizes 2016 payment and policies for sleep medicine
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule, which provides updates to payment policies and payment rates for services billed on or after Jan. 1, 2016.