HomeWashington Letter2014 ▶ ATS Comments on USPSTF Research Plan on Sleep Apnea Screening
ATS Comments on USPSTF Research Plan on Sleep Apnea Screening

September 2014

This week, the ATS submitted comments to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) on its draft research plan for a systematic evidence review of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) screening. The review will assess the direct evidence that screening for OSA in adults improves health outcomes and other key questions. It will form the basis for the Task Force's decision whether to recommend sleep apnea screening as a covered preventive health service under the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) essential health benefits. If the Task Force gives sleep apnea screening an "A" or "B" rating, it will become a required free preventive service (populations to be determined) for health plans in insurance exchanges, so this is an important step to expanding access to sleep screening, diagnosis and treatment services, which the ATS applauds in the comment letter.

In the letter, the ATS urges the USPSTF to study the impact of insurance prior authorization requirements for continuous positive airway (CPAP) therapy. The ATS said, "The ATS is concerned that prior authorization for CPAP use has created an access barrier to both OSA diagnosis and treatment for many people in the U.S." The ATS also urged the Task Force to study the issue of CPAP adherence in the evidence review, pointing out that CPAP adherence varies greatly among patients, which affects health outcomes.

Last Reviewed: October 2017