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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on July 25th, 2016

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: July 25, 2016

Sleep Technologist Advice

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Revisions to the Stark Law, hypersomnia research, sleeping with anxiety and more

Your media watchdog for headlines and trends relevant to sleep technology and patient education.

CULTURE WATCH

Senate Finance Committee considers revisions to Stark Law
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
July 14, 2016

From the article: “On July 12 the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing, which was attended by AASM staff, to examine ways to improve and reform the physician self-referral ‘Stark’ Law. Testimony was provided on how the Stark Law has become increasingly unnecessary for, and a significant impediment to, value-based payment models that Congress and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be requiring.”

Takeaway: Don’t know about the Stark Law?  It has a direct bureacractic impact on your sleep center's ability to connect patients with the DME they need.  Want to learn more about the AASM’s push for a Stark exception for sleep medicine?  Click here.

INDUSTRY WATCH

Hypersomnia Research-Where We Are And Where We Are Headed
Hypersomnia Foundation
July 12, 2016

From the article: “Much has transpired since the 1950’s when Dr. Bedrich Roth coined the term “idiopathic hypersomnia” and progress will continue as we work together and tease out understanding of the causes of idiopathic hypersomnia.”

Takeaway: There’s good research into hypersomnia underway through nonprofit channels. Especially of interest to sleep technologists are inquiries into the applications and efficacy of the MSLT as well as ongoing efforts to better understand and define idiopathic hypersomnia.

TREND WATCH

How To Sleep When Horrific News Becomes The Norm
Huffington Post Sleep + Wellness
July 16, 2016

From the article: “The bottom line: research shows that when we’re stressed, the chemical and biological changes in our bodies can interfere with our sleep.”

Takeaway: Patients who have trouble sleeping may also show signs during your encounters with them that they may be having trouble coping with the stress of current events.  Here’s a tip inspired by this blog article: If your sleep center allows television access to patients during their studies, you may wish to block the news channels entirely so as to prevent patients from further aggravating their anxiety.

TECHNOLOGY WATCH

Answers to Your Questions About Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation Therapy [Guest Post by Dr. Eric Kezirian]
Sleep Better, Live Better
July 14, 2016

From the article: “Upper Airway Stimulation is different from other treatments for sleep apnea in many ways, including the fact that it combines surgery and non-surgical treatment.”

Takeaway: Even if you don’t encounter patients who have this treatment option for their OSA, you should know what this therapy involves and how it works.

PHARMA WATCH

Managing Narcolepsy Symptoms with Pharmaceuticals: Currently Approved Medications and Promising Drug Trials
Sleep Review
July 11, 2016

From the article: “…a new wakefulness-promoting drug is under development by Jazz Pharmaceuticals. [Clinical neurology professor Michael Thorpy of New York’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine says ‘JZP-110… is currently under investigation, and initial reports that have been published indicate that this has a beneficial effect on alertness.  It looks as though this medication is going to be a very useful alternative to the wake-promoting medications that we have at the moment.’ ”

Takeaway: This is exciting news for narcolepsy patients and shows more attention is being paid to this less common, though no less devastating, sleep disorder.

HEALTH LITERACY WATCH

New infographics help you share AASM sleep duration recommendations
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
July 14, 2016

From the article: “Now you can download two new infographics that present the sleep duration recommendations from the pediatric consensus statement that was recently published by the AASM and the adult consensus statement published last year by the AASM and the Sleep Research Society.  Share these resources to help the public understand how much sleep is recommended on a regular basis to promote optimal health.”

Takeaway: These new visual tools can help you share this important information with patients.  Horizontal and vertical images are available to print and share or post on your own websites.

LEGISLATION WATCH

Graves Offers Support for Veterans Suffering from PTSD
Lee’s Summit Tribune
July 14, 2016

From the article: “U.S. Representative Sam Graves today introduced a resolution designed to help combat high rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other complications facing U.S. veterans. H.Res. 825 addresses the connection between PTSD and sleep apnea, which can lead to a host of other health issues for returning military men and women.”

Takeaway: Want to show your support for H.Res. 825?  Submit a letter (check out this example at the AASM) to your Representative or Senator here. Our legislators are listening!

About the author

Tamara Kaye Sellman RPSGT, CCSH curates the sleep health information clearinghouse, SleepyHeadCENTRAL, where she follows sleep health news headlines daily.  She generates content for inboundMed and SomnoSure and contributes as a freelance writer to AAST’s magazine, A2Zzz, and MultipleSclerosis.net, among other places.

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