CMS Proposes Medicare Coverage Of Sleep Apnea Treatment

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Medicare Coverage Of Sleep Apnea

CMS last month announced aproposal to allow Medicare coverage of a sleep apnea treatment forbeneficiaries diagnosed with home tests, the AP/ArizonaDaily Star reports.

Currently, Medicare covers a sleep apnea treatment called CPAP, orcontinuous positive airway pressure, but only for beneficiariesdiagnosed with tests performed in sleep laboratories. Such tests costabout $1,500, compared with about $500 for home tests for sleepapnea.

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Under the proposal, which likely will become final inMarch after a public comment period, Medicare beneficiaries couldobtain home tests for sleep apnea from any physician, not only sleepspecialists. According to the Daily Star, the "controversial"proposal could prove "far-reaching," as more than half ofthe estimated 18 million U.S. residents with sleep apnea remainundiagnosed.

Terence Davidson of the Universityof California-San Diego, a supporter of home tests for sleepapnea, said, "It's been awkward and inconvenient andexpensive to get a sleep test, and now that should be improved"(AP/Arizona Daily Star, 1/8).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org.You can view the entire KaiserDaily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up foremail delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published forkaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser FamilyFoundation.

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