The end of 2018 brings to a close an eventful year for the field of sleep medicine that included a request by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for comments about the Stark Law; the release of the 2018 AASM Physician Compensation Survey results; FDA reclassification of positive airway pressure (PAP) delivery systems; and the publication by the AASM of a new clinical practice guideline, position paper, and several position statements.

Here is a selection of some of the top AASM and sleep medicine headlines and highlights from the past year:

  1. Complete analysis of the 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule
    The AASM provides this analysis to help members understand the changes to the 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and the final policies for year three of the Quality Payment Program (QPP), which were published on Nov. 1 by CMS in its final rule.
  2. AASM submits Stark Law comments to CMS
    In response to a CMS request for input on how to address any undue burden of the Stark Law, the AASM submitted comments recommending exceptions for the provision of PAP therapy for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and for alternative payment model (APM) participants.
  3. AASM releases results from 2018 Physician Compensation Survey
    The 2018 AASM Physician Compensation Survey report describes market compensation and production benchmarks for sleep medicine physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, with detailed information on practice characteristics, provider demographics, clinical activities, income levels, and clinical productivity.
  4. Collaborative summit explores models to improve patient care for sleep apnea
    In Chicago on Saturday, Nov. 10, the AASM hosted 35 representatives from 14 medical societies, nurse practitioner associations and patient advocacy groups for a one-day Sleep-Disordered Breathing Collaboration Summit to discuss strategies to improve the diagnosis and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.
  5. FDA reclassifies positive airway pressure as a Class II medical device
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a final rule, “Classification of the Positive Airway Pressure Delivery System,” effective Oct. 19, 2018, that reclassifies the PAP delivery system, moving it from Class III into Class II. PAP delivery systems continue to be for prescription use only.
  6. CMS finalizes removal of two sleep apnea measures from MIPS for 2019
    Despite the submission of AASM comments urging CMS to retain all four of the AASM-stewarded sleep apnea measures in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), CMS finalized the removal of two measures for the 2019 reporting year and 2021 payment year.
  7. Jurisdiction J transition to Palmetto GBA results in new sleep facility accreditation requirement
    Due to a transition in the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) for Jurisdiction J, sleep facilities in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee needed to ensure that they meet all coverage provisions outlined in Palmetto GBA LCD L36593: Polysomnography, including the accreditation requirement.
  8. AASM releases new guideline scorecards for payer policies
    The AASM Payer Policy Review Committee created guideline scorecards to evaluate how effective payer policies are at establishing appropriate coverage for diagnostic sleep testing services.
  9. AASM and Super Bowl champion Aaron Taylor team up to tackle sleep apnea
    The AASM and former NFL offensive lineman Aaron Taylor have partnered to launch two new public service announcements (PSAs) urging television viewers to “Defend Your Sleep” by talking to a doctor about obstructive sleep apnea.
  10. AASM publishes new clinical practice guideline and position statements
    In 2018 the AASM published a clinical practice guideline for the use of actigraphy, a position paper for the treatment of nightmare disorder in adults, and position statements on the topics of medical cannabis and the treatment of OSA, consumer sleep technology, and arousal-based scoring.