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Volume 07 No. 06
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Sleep Medicine News and Updates

Sleep Medicine News and Updates



Renew Your AASM Membership for 2012

You can now renew your AASM 2012 membership online! Renew today to continue receiving the journal SLEEP and Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine online, coding and reimbursement support, national and local representation, discounts on professional resources, education and networking opportunities and much more!

To renew your membership, register an account or login to the AASM website. Renewal invoices also were mailed to members in late October and are currently available for download online, allowing you to renew via mail or fax. Please contact the AASM membership department with questions regarding your membership at 630-737-9756 or AASMmembership@aasmnet.org.


JCSM Website Overhaul Includes New Enhanced Online Edition

A new website for the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, the official peer-reviewed publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, was launched in October at www.aasmnet.org/jcsm. In addition to its attractive, streamlined design, the new website gives readers access to all journal content, readable on any browser or Internet-ready device in an HTML-based format. Subscribers can also download individual articles or entire issues as PDFs.

With the complete website overhaul comes several alternative ways to access JCSM. The JCSM Kindle edition contains the same articles and content found in the online edition, including all tables, charts and images, delivered automatically to your Kindle device. You can subscribe to the Kindle edition for only $3.99 per month; individual issues are $11.99.

The JCSM Enhanced Edition is a free online resource for subscribers that is identical to the JCSM print edition, viewable on all browsers and optimized for tablets and smartphones. The Enhanced Edition allows readers to “flip” page-by-page through the journal, offering the complete JCSM experience.

A table of contents will arrive in the email inbox of all AASM members as each new issue is published, so readers can keep up with the latest science published in JCSM. As a free benefit of AASM membership, JCSM is a valuable educational tool for researchers and medical professionals interested in the clinical practice of sleep medicine. Published bimonthly, each issue includes original manuscripts such as clinical trials, clinical reviews, clinical commentary and debate, medical/economic/practice perspectives, case series and novel/interesting case reports.

The launch of the new, improved website comes in preparation for the transition from a print to digital publication, starting with the 2012 volume year. By utilizing new delivery methods, the JCSM Editorial Board will uphold its commitment to publishing relevant science in sleep medicine, while expanding its reach to wider audiences.


Apply for ASMF Educational Projects, Humanitarian Projects & Strategic Research Awards

The American Sleep Medicine Foundation (ASMF) is committed to supporting the education and training of sleep scientists and is pleased to offer the Educational Projects Award, the Humanitarian Projects Award and the Strategic Research Award as part of the ASMF 2012 grant cycle. The submission deadline for these grants is Jan. 17, 2012. More information about these ASMF awards is available online at www.discoversleep.org. Please direct all questions and inquiries regarding grant opportunities to ASMF Coordinator Nick Cekosh at 630-737-9700 or ncekosh@aasmnet.org.


Download the AASM ICSD-2/ICD-9 Coding Crosswalk iPhone App

The AASM ICSD-2/ICD-9 Coding Crosswalk app provides iPhone users with a quick clinical reference to complement the International Classification of Sleep Disorders & Second Edition. Physicians can select a sleep disorder diagnosis, and the app will display the corresponding ICD-9-CM code, along with section, category and subcategory information, descriptors and, in some cases, special coding instructions. Users can bookmark frequently-referenced codes and write corresponding memos using the app's notes feature. The app is compatible with all iOS devices, and is available for $2.99 on the iTunes app store.


AASM Submits Proposal for Integrated Sleep Medicine to CMS

In September the AASM Board of Directors submitted a final draft proposal for an integrated delivery model for sleep medicine to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The proposal is the result of months of discussion about the future role of the sleep specialist in patient care. AASM leadership feels strongly that an integrated model that allows sleep specialists to be actively involved in the care of patients beyond diagnostic testing to include treatment and long-term follow-up will result in improved patient outcomes and overall cost savings in the treatment of sleep disorders. Members are encouraged to download and review the draft proposal, which is available on the AASM website. The contents of this proposal are likely to change as the AASM engages in ongoing discussion with CMS.


AASM Hosting Sleep Medicine Therapies and Business of Sleep Medicine Courses in Phoenix

In February 2012 the AASM will host two courses at the Arizona Biltmore resort in Phoenix Arizona. Attendees of these courses can expect to learn about the state-of-the-art in patient care management (Sleep Medicine Therapies on February 24-25, 2012) and the business management of a sleep center (Business of Sleep Medicine for Physicians on February 26-27, 2012) from expert faculty in their fields.

During the new Sleep Medicine Therapies course, faculty will utilize case-based discussions, pro/con debates and panel discussions to review more than 15 controversial areas that sleep specialists encounter on a daily basis in clinical practice. Featuring several hot-topics in the field, presentations will include: the use of circadian bio-markers in clinical practice by Phyllis Zee, MD, PhD; improving CPAP compliance by Terri Weaver, PhD, RN; pre-operative assessment of OSA by Vishesh Kapur, MD; integrated model for the delivery of sleep medicine care by Patrick Strollo Jr., MD; and many more.

Registration for these courses is now open. Additionally, attendees are encouraged to book their hotel reservations through the AASM for the Arizona Biltmore in order to take advantage of several exclusive discounts including waived resort fees and 15% off of the spa and golfing. And when you register for both the Sleep Medicine Therapies and Business of Sleep Medicine for Physicians courses before the advanced registration deadline of Jan. 27, 2012, you will save more than 20% on registration fees! For more information about these courses — including topics, faculty and CME information — or to register, please visit the AASM website at http://www.aasmnet.org/upcomingcourses.aspx. Questions can be directed to the AASM meeting department by sending an email to education@aasmnet.org or by calling 630-737-9768.


AASM Congratulates First Recipients of OCST and DME accreditation

The AASM congratulates Sleep HealthCenters National Service Group in Bedford, Mass., which became the first sleep program to earn out of center sleep testing (OCST) accreditation from the AASM. In December 2010, Somnicare in Overland Park, Kan., became the first supplier to earn AASM accreditation as a non-Medicare DME supplier. In 2011, this distinction also has been earned by the Minnesota Lung Center clinics; Georgetown Durable Medical Equipment, LP in Georgetown, Texas; and Sleep Disorders Clinic of Dallas in Plano, Texas. The AASM established these voluntary programs, along with its accreditation program for sleep disorders centers, to ensure that patients with sleep disorders receive the highest quality of medical care. Learn more about the AASM's accreditation programs on the AASM website.


AASM-Accredited Centers: Deadline for Out of Center Sleep Testing Attestations is Dec. 31

In February 2011, the AASM introduced an accreditation program for Out of Center Sleep Testing (OSCT) for Adult Patients. Facilities currently accredited by the AASM as a sleep disorders center are eligible to be awarded accreditation as an OCST provider by completing an Out of Center Sleep Testing Accreditation Participation Attestation Form by Dec. 31, 2011. All AASM-accredited centers must complete this form; if your center does not currently perform OCST, completion of this form is still required. Learn more at http://www.aasmnet.org/articles.aspx?id = 2711.


New Coding Supplement to the ICSD-2 is Now Available

A new pocket-sized supplement to the AASM's International Classification of Sleep Disorders—Second Edition (ICSD-2) is now available through the AASM. The Coding Supplement provides facilities with a user-friendly crosswalk between the diagnoses in the ICSD-2 and the billing codes found in the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modifications (ICD-9-CM). Physicians and coding staff will find this resource to be indispensable as a quick reference when billing sleep medicine services.

The 25-page Coding Supplement mirrors the content of the ICSD-2 and includes a table of ICD-9-CM codes with references to the ICSD-2. For more information about this new product, and to order, visit the AASM Online Store at http://www.aasmnet.org/store/. Questions about this product may be directed to the AASM by sending an e-mail to orders@aasmnet.org or by calling 630-737-9700.


AASM to Host 4th Annual Young Investigator Research Forum

The AASM is hosting its 4th offering of the Young Investigator Research Forum from Wednesday, April 11, through Friday, April 13, 2012 at the NIH Natcher Conference Center in Bethesda, Md. The Forum will aid the career development of promising young investigators in clinical and translational sleep medicine research. To kick off the 2012 Young Investigator Research Forum, participants will attend an evening Roundtable event on Wednesday, April 11, 2012, which will include dinner and an opportunity to network with key NIH scientific and program officers. The remainder of the program will take place at the NIH Natcher Conference Center for didactic presentations, workshops, and small group sessions covering study design, presentation skills, grantsmanship, a mock grant review, and the mentor-mentee relationship.


Congratulations to New Fellow Member of the AASM

Fellow status in the AASM is a unique honor that recognizes special competency in sleep medicine and significant contributions to the field. The AASM is pleased to welcome Syed J. Murtaza, MD, as the latest Fellow Member. If you are interested in becoming a Fellow member of the AASM, please review the requirements on the AASM website at http://www.aasmnet.org/Articles.aspx?id = 292. All required documentation should be submitted to the AASM Membership Department. Please contact the AASM National Office at 630-737-9700 if you have any questions regarding your membership status.


Member-Get-A-Member Grand Prize Winner Announced

Congratulations to Raquel Rothe, CRT, RRT, who is the Grand Prize Winner of the 2011 AASM Member-Get-A-Member (MGM) campaign. Ms. Rothe will receive a free AASM course registration, including hotel and travel! All AASM members are invited to participate in the 2012 MGM campaign. For every new or reinstated AASM Regular or Fellow Member that you recruit for the 2012 membership year, you will receive a $15 Recognition of Excellence Money Voucher that can be used toward AASM resources and entry into a drawing for a complimentary 2013 course registration. Learn more at http://www.aasmnet.org/membership_individualcampaign.aspx.


For a Limited Time RPSGTs Can Receive the new RST Certificate from the ABSM

The new American Board of Sleep Medicine (ABSM) Sleep Technologist Registry Examination was offered for the first time Nov. 11, 2011. All practicing sleep technologists who have passed the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (BRPT) examination prior to Dec. 31, 2011 - and are a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT) in good standing - are eligible to apply for equivalency status and receive the Registered Sleep Technologist (RST) certification by the ABSM. RPSGTs must submit an application for the Registered Sleep Technologist certificate to the ABSM before March 31, 2012. Get complete details on the ABSM website at www.absm.org/techcertification.aspx.


Medicare Issues 2012 Physician Fee Schedule Display Copy

On Nov. 1 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule for services paid under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) for the 2012 calendar year. Comments to the final rule are being accepted by CMS through Jan. 3, 2012. An issue of great significance to AASM members is the payment cuts resulting from the effect of the sustainable growth rate (SGR) on the conversion factor, which is used to calculate payment for all services. The 2012 final rule indicates that, without congressional action, a conversion factor of $24.6712 will be in place effective Jan. 1, 2012. The conversion factor decrease reflects a cut of 27.4 percent, only slightly less than the estimated figure of 29.5 percent, which was listed in the 2012 proposed rule. This significant cut to the conversion factor will potentially have a devastating impact on the practice of sleep medicine and access to care for Medicare beneficiaries. The AASM encourages all members to contact their local congressperson or senator to explain the negative effects of the SGR on sleep practices.


CMS Releases Final Rules on ACO's

In late October CMS released its final rule governing accountable care organizations (ACO). The federal health reform law requires federal health programs to begin contracting with ACOs starting in January 2012. ACOs aim to lower costs and improve care by fostering cooperation between physicians, hospitals and other providers. HHS estimates that ACOs will save Medicare between $510 million and $960 million during the first three years.


National Government Services Reports High CPAP Claims Error Rate

National Government Services (NGS) reported on a recent prepayment medical review of claims for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices. NGS, the Durable Medical Equipment Medicare Administrative Contractor for Jurisdiction B, reported that the results of the review of 100 claims indicate a claims error rate of 81 percent. NGS reports that following a review of the findings, their Medical Review department will continue prepayment review of claims for CPAP. NGS encourages providers to review their local coverage determination (LCD) for Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) Devices for Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Providers who are not located in Jurisdiction B should also consider reviewing their LCD for information on documentation requirements. Providers can access their LCDs using the Medicare Coverage Database search features at http://www.cms.gov/medicare-coverage-database/.


UnitedHealthcare Excludes Silenor from Pharmacy Benefits Coverage

UnitedHealthcare is updating its pharmacy benefits coverage and excluding Silenor as a pharmacy benefit designation. In a letter to the AASM, the provider announced a Pharmacy Drug List (PDL) Management Committee determined the drug would remain excluded under the provider's pharmacy benefit. The changes to the pharmacy benefits coverage go into effect Jan. 1, 2012.


CDC Study Links Insufficient Sleep to Health-Risk Behaviors among Teens

A study by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that almost 70 percent of high school students reported getting less than eight hours of sleep on an average school night. The study also found that insufficient sleep was associated with higher odds of many health-risk behaviors such as current use of cigarettes, marijuana and alcohol, as well as current sexual activity and having seriously considered attempting suicide. The study was published in the October/November 2011 issue of Preventive Medicine.


NIH Releases Updated Sleep Disorders Research Plan

On Nov. 9, 2011, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released the 2011 NIH Sleep Disorders Research Plan, which identifies research opportunities to be pursued over the next three to five years in order to spur new approaches to the prevention and treatment of sleep disorders. The new plan expands upon previous and current research programs identified in the 1996 and 2003 plans. It also highlights opportunities to foster a continued dialogue with research communities, which will help promote innovative approaches to scientific investigations; addresses training needs for investigators and encourages interdisciplinary collaboration to accelerate scientific discovery and bring therapies to the community more rapidly while improving strategies for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of sleep and circadian disorders such as insomnia, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, and sleep apnea; and encourages a stronger emphasis on understanding the genetics behind sleep as well as other factors that contribute to sleep disorders and disturbances, such as lifestyle, age, and gender differences. Read the plan online at http://www.aasmnet.org/resources/pdf/NIHSleepDisordersResearchPlan.pdf.


NIH Announces Grant Opportunities

The next letter of intent due date is Jan. 2, 2012, for the Education Research in Sleep Health and Sleep-Circadian Biology grant (PAR-11-098) from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). The grant's stated purpose is to stimulate development of innovative, well-validated education tools, platforms and programs that will transfer health information and scientific advances in sleep and circadian biology to research scientists, health care providers and educators, to specific populations including youth, older adults, women, racial and ethnic minorities and veterans. Projects should draw upon cutting-edge education, knowledge transfer or social marketing models and must include analytic plans for the assessment of program efficacy and plans for adoption and sustained implementation in other settings.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued funding opportunity announcements for three grants under the title of, “Healthy Habits: Timing for Developing Sustainable Healthy Behaviors in Children and Adolescents.” Developing healthy sleep patterns is one of the positive health behaviors that may be targeted by applications for these three grants: R01 research project grant (PA-11-327), R03 small grant program (PA-11-328) and R21 exploratory/developmental research grant award (PA-11-329). Standard application due dates apply.

Get complete details about these grant opportunities on the NIH website at www.grants.nih.gov.