SleepQuest anticipates expanding reach to sleep apnea sufferers
Millions of men and women who suffer from sleep apnea just got some good news: the agency that regulates Medicare and Medicaid policy recommended the coverage of in-home testing for diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea.
On December 14, 2007, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a policy memo proposing to allow coverage of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) based upon diagnosis of sleep apnea by home sleep testing (HST). A public comment period is currently open, and the final policy will be published in March 2008.
The decision follows a September 12 meeting in which physicians and experts on sleep disorders testified before the Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee (MedCAC) on the merits of at-home testing, including SleepQuest’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. William C. Dement, the father of modern sleep medicine. SleepQuest is a leading provider of at-home unattended diagnostic sleep testing and sleep apnea treatment, and President Robert Koenigsberg was a vital part of the coalition that fought for approval.
“We worked hand-in-hand with other companies across the country to lobby for this,” said Koenigsberg, “and worked closely with physicians who understand the impact that in-home sleep testing can have on a patient’s well being.”
When the final approval is granted, Medicare sleep apnea patients will no longer be required to undergo sleep testing at more costly and less convenient sleep labs.
“We can do this service anywhere,” said Koenigsberg. “Medicare’s approval will give us an expanded opportunity to diagnose and treat the effects of sleep apnea and other breathing disorders in the comfortable and effective environment of the patient’s own home.”
Koenigsberg was also confident other insurance companies would follow suit. CIGNA and Blue Cross already provide coverage for the treatment in some areas.
“Over 10 percent of the US population suffers from sleep related breathing disorders that should be identified and treated,” said Koenigsberg. “We’ve diagnosed thousands of patients with our unique care model in 13 years of business. With increasing demand for in-home sleep testing and sleep apnea treatment, SleepQuest has positioned itself to be ready to meet the needs of newly-covered patients across the country.”