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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on January 21st, 2020

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: January 21, 2020

Sleep Technologist Advice

While You Were Sleeping: What Sleep Technologists Need to Know This Week

sleepy penguins

WYWS is taking a brief hiatus next week and will return on Tuesday February 4, 2020.

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


11 Important CPAP Benefits To Improve Your Well Being
January 13, 2020

From the blog: “Not only is CPAP therapy the most effective sleep apnea treatment, but it makes people feel better by providing their bodies and minds with the oxygen necessary for better sleep and healing.

Takeaway: Okay, so you might have these memorized by now …or maybe not? Some great talking points here for patients who may struggle with the idea of using CPAP, though they may need it.


Parasympathetic activity is reduced during slow-wave sleep, but not resting wakefulness, in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome
January 15, 2020

From the research study summary: “Previous research shows that nocturnal parasympathetic activity (reflected by heart rate variability [HRV]) is diminished in individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), suggesting hypervigilant sleep. This study investigated differences in nocturnal autonomic activity across sleep stages and explored the association of parasympathetic activity with sleep quality and self-reported physical and psychological wellbeing in individuals with CFS.

Takeaway: It's great to see CFS being taken seriously in research, and that sleep medicine research can play a critical role in supporting diagnosis and treatment of this condition, which for some can be disabling and life altering.


Video-Conference CBT-I May Be an Accessible Solution for Your Insomnia Patients
January 16, 2020

From the research study: “New research suggests that cognitive behavioral therapy delivered live over telemedicine works as well as in-person sessions for insomnia patients. What that could mean for your sleep practice.

Takeaway: Could this bring new job opportunities for sleep technologists? Maybe. If RPSGTs and/or CCSH credential holders were provided a pathway via the BBSM (Board of Behavioral Sleep Medicine), that's one way our field could expand. Or, by working as a patient coordinator in a sleep telehealth service. Time will tell if these chances ever come to see the light of day.


Download new sleep apnea payer policy scorecards
January 17, 2020

From the website: “Revised policies for seven payers were recently reviewed by the AASM Payer Policy Review Committee, which develops and continues to revise payer policy scorecards to evaluate how effective payer policies are at establishing appropriate coverage for diagnostic sleep testing services.

Takeaway: Updated information for those sleep technologists handling payer policies and coding. 


Itamar Medical Will Participate in Weizmann Institute’s Project 10K
January 14, 2020

From the article: “Itamar Medical Ltd’s WatchPAT home sleep test has been selected for inclusion in the Weizmann Institute’s Project 10K. The 10K Project is a longitudinal study designed to collect lifestyle and clinical data from 10,000 individuals over ten years and aims to use state-of-the-art artificial intelligence technologies to analyze the data in order to generate personalized predictions for disease risk factors. These predictions may improve health outcomes by enabling detection and intervention of treatable medical conditions prior to the onset of symptoms.

Takeaway: Sounds like a fantastic data collection effort that could help sleep medicine professionals and patients for years to come.


Polysomnographic assessment of suvorexant in patients with probable Alzheimer's disease dementia and insomnia: a randomized trial
January 15, 2020

From the article: “This is the largest randomized controlled trial to date of the effects of a sleep medication on PSG sleep measures in a probable AD dementia population.

Takeaway: Dementia-related conditions continue to occur at a rapid rate; this important research into the associations between sleep aid use and dementia should support the trend toward sleep aids with fewer side effects in order to treat these patients as safely as possible. 


The problem with the word, “noncompliance”
January 16, 2020

From the commentary: “A critical examination presents the term 'compliance' as negativistic and synonymous with victimization, powerlessness, and the inability to self-determine.

Takeaway: The model this author promotes seems like a great tool for anyone working with patients along their continuum of care. After all, it's true that for many, "life happens," and they can fall out of line with their treatments for perfectly legitimate reasons. I appreciate the positive spin on what is typically a tense and negative conversation between patient and healthcare provider.


ResMed to pay more than $37.5M to settle kickback allegations made in 5 whistleblower lawsuits
January 15, 2020

From the website: “Medical equipment maker ResMed will pay $37.5 million to resolve allegations brought by the Department of Justice (DOJ) that it paid kickbacks to durable medical equipment suppliers, sleep labs and other healthcare providers. …The DOJ announced Wednesday that ResMed ran afoul of the Anti-Kickback Statute and alleges that the company filed false claims to federal healthcare programs related to the sale of equipment for sleep apnea and other sleep-related disorders. …'Paying any type of illegal remuneration to induce patient referrals undermines the integrity of our nation’s health care system,' Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the DOJ’s Civil Division said in a press release. 'When a patient receives a prescription for a device to treat a health care condition, the patient deserves to know that the device was selected based on the quality of care considerations and not on unlawful payments from equipment manufacturers.'

Takeaway: In case you missed it!  

BIO:  AAST blog columnist Tamara Sellman RPSGT, CCSH curates the sleep health information clearinghouse, SleepyHeadCENTRAL, where she follows sleep health news headlines daily. She is also an independent sleep health journalist, writes sleep-related columns for two chronic illness patient advocacy publishers, and contributes the Journal Club continued education presentations for the AAST. She can be reached at sleepyheadcentral@gmail.com.