AASM stakes a claim to home sleep testing

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

DARIEN, Ill. – Only a physician can diagnose medical conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea and primary snoring, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine states in a new position paper on home sleep apnea testing.

The AASM also states that the need for, and appropriateness of, an HSAT must be based on the patient’s medical history and a face-to-face examination by a physician, either in person or via telemedicine.

“A home sleep apnea test provides valuable information for the diagnostic assessment of certain patients with suspected obstructive sleep apnea,” said AASM President Dr. Ilene Rosen. “However, the test is only one component of a comprehensive sleep evaluation, and it is important for a board-certified sleep medicine physician to be involved in reviewing and interpreting the raw data from the device.”

The AASM published the position paper in the Oct. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

Additionally, the AASM stated:

  • An HSAT is a medical assessment that must be ordered by a physician to diagnose OSA or evaluate treatment efficacy.
  • An HSAT should not be used for general screening of asymptomatic populations.
  • Diagnosis, assessment of treatment efficacy, and treatment decisions must not be based solely on automatically scored HSAT data, which could lead to sub-optimal care that jeopardizes patient health and safety.
  • The raw data from the HSAT device must be reviewed and interpreted by a physician who is either board-certified in sleep medicine or overseen by a board-certified sleep medicine physician.