As a sleep community, we have the opportunity to begin to advocate for certain issues related to sleep or sleep disorders? What policies would you like to see, or policies you would like to see changed?
I would like to see education reimbursement for dme who provide CPAP set up and after care services. This is provided for diabetics, why not sleep apnea! I truly believe that the current CPAP abandonment rate of about 50% is directly related to the lack of patient education and follow up care. If dme were reimbursed for this service - as they should be - I think we would see a huge increase in compliance.
Tracy, this is in all likelihood advocacy issue #1!! To think that DMEs are only reimbursed for device sales and not the time spent really devalues the importance of education and support.
Other ideas to throw out there are (1) sleep as a vital sign - should be asked about at every primary care visit and (2) sleep apnea screening for all patients who meet certain criteria. As we saw with Ben on a different thread, having some symptoms means that objective sleep apnea testing should be done to get a better sense of the extent to which one may or may not have sleep apnea. I have also seen plenty of folks with some signs and symptoms who test negative (i.e., AHI < 5). However, even when one tests negative, sometimes then a full polysomnography should be done to rule out other possible sleep disorders, like periodic limb movements in sleep.