MEDCAC Meeting

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)


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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is reviewing its national coverage determination (NCD) regarding the diagnosis of patients with OSA requiring CPAP therapy. Current national coverage policy specifies that only polysomnography done in a facility-based sleep study laboratory can be used to identify patients with OSA requiring CPAP (240.4).

CMS has received a complete formal written Request [PDF, 346KB] from the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery to modify this decision to include the use of portable multi-channel home sleep testing devices as an alternative to facility-based polysomnography in the evaluation of OSA.

In addition, CMS has received an incomplete request from a Medicare beneficiary, numerous informal requests from stakeholders, and interest from Medicare contractors concerning the criteria for determining the Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI). The current NCD at section 240.4 states in part “…The AHI is equal to the average number of episodes of apnea and hypopnea per hour and must be based on a minimum of 2 hours of sleep recorded by polysomnography using actual recorded hours of sleep (i.e. the AHI may not be extrapolated or projected).”  It has been suggested by some that this requirement be changed to “the AHI is equal to the average number of episodes of apnea and hypopnea per hour and must be based on a minimum of 2 hours of sleep or less, if the actual number of AHI episodes recorded is 30 or more in less than 2 hours, recorded by polysomnography using actual recorded hours of sleep (i.e., the AHI may not be extrapolated or projected).

We are also aware of recently published research suggesting a benefit for the use of CPAP without prior sleep testing in selected populations (trial of CPAP).

Actions Taken

May 29, 2007

Announced September 12 MedCAC meeting.

July 25, 2007

Posted questions [PDF, 61KB]to panel.

July 27, 2007

Posted Federal Register notice [PDF, 177KB]

August 7, 2007

Posted revised questions [PDF, 40KB] to panel.

September 7, 2007

September 13, 2007

Posted score sheet [PDF, 23KB].

October 17, 2007

Posted transcript [PDF, 521KB] and meeting minutes .


Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee
September 12, 2007
8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
CMS Auditorium

Steve Pearson, MD, MSc, Vice Chair
Steve Phurrough, MD, MPA, Coverage and Analysis Group
Maria Ellis, Executive Secretary

7:30 – 8:00 AM


8:00 – 8:15 AM

Opening Remarks—M. Ellis / S. Phurrough, MD, MPA/ Steve Pearson, MD, MSc

8:15- 8:25 AM

CMS Presentation of the Voting Questions – Francina Spencer

8:25 – 8:45AM

Eric Mair, MD, Representative, Sleep Disorders Committee
American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Charlotte EENT Associates

8:45 – 9:30 AM

TA Presentation: Thomas A. Trikalinos, MD, PhD
Assistant Director, Tufts-New England Medical Center EPC
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Tufts University

9:30 - 9:50 AM

CMS Presentation – Ross Brechner, MD, MS, MPH

9:50 –10:20 AM

Frank Ryan, MB, FRCPI, FRCPC, FCCP, Professor of Medicine, University of British Columbia

10:20 – 11:30AM

Scheduled Public Comments (Refer to Speaker List)

11:30 – 12:00PM

Open Public Comments

Public Attendees who wish to address the panel will be given that opportunity


Public attendees, who have contacted the executive secretary prior to the meeting, will address the panel and present information relevant to the agenda. Speakers are asked to state whether or not they have any financial involvement with manufacturers of any products being discussed or with their competitors and who funded their travel to this meeting.


12:00 – 1:00 PM

LUNCH (on your own)

1:00 –1:30 PM

Questions to Presenters

1:30 – 2:45PM

Initial Open Panel Discussion: Dr. Pearson

2:45 – 3:30 PM

Formal Remarks and Voting Questions

The Chairperson will ask each panel member to state his or her position on the voting questions

3:30 – 4:25 PM

Final Open Panel Discussion: Dr. Pearson

4:25 – 4:30 PM

Closing Remarks / Adjournment: Dr. Phurrough, Dr. Pearson

4:30 PM




September 12, 2007

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
7500 Security Boulevard
Baltimore, Maryland

Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee (MedCAC)

September 12, 2007


Steve Pearson, M.D., M.Sc.

Voting Members
Gregory L. Barkley, MD
Karl E. Becker, MD, MBA
Mark V. Boswell, MD, PhD
Gregory J. Dehmer, MD
Marion Danis, MD
Saty Satya-Murti, MD, FANN
Mercedes K.C. Dullum, MD
Loren Hiratzka, MD
Marvin Konstam, MD

CMS Liaison
Louis Jacques, MD

Consumer Representative
Randel Richner, BSN, MPH

Industry Representative
Peter Juhn, MD, MPH

Guest Expert Panelists
Doran Edwards, MD
Barry L. Whites MD FCCP MSHA

Executive Secretaries
Maria Ellis
Michelle Atkinson Wednesday, September 12, 2007, 8:05 a.m.

The MedCAC met on September 12, 2007, to discuss the evidence, hear presentations and pubic comment, and make recommendations regarding the diagnosis and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in Medicare beneficiaries who may be candidates for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, and alternatives to facility-based polysomnography in the diagnosis of OSA, including home sleep testing devices and clinical diagnosis without the use of sleep testing.

The meeting began with a reading of conflict of interest issues, opening remarks by the vice chair and CMS liaison, and introduction of the Committee.

CMS Summary and Presentation of Voting Questions. A CMS representative presented the discussion and voting questions to be considered by the panel.

Presentation on behalf of Requestor. The panel heard from a representative of the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery supporting broadening the application and use of in-home sleep monitoring.

Presentation of the Technology Assessment. The results of a technology assessment performed by the Tufts new England Medical Center Evidence-Based Practice Center were presented.

Other Presentations. The panel heard presentations from a member of the CMS staff, and a Canadian researchers.

Scheduled Public Comments. Fifteen speakers, including professional society representatives, manufacturers' representatives, clinicians and other healthcare professionals, addressed the panel.

Open Public Comments. Following the scheduled public comments, the panel heard from four additional speakers.

Questions to Presenters. The panel conducted an extensive question and answer period with the various presenters and other speakers.

Initial Open Panel Discussion. There was an extensive period of discussion surrounding the initial discussion questions, as well as the form of the voting questions and definitions to be applied during the deliberations and voting.

Formal Remarks and Voting. The panel voted on the following questions.

     One. How confident are you that there is sufficient evidence to determine that each of the following strategies can in routine use produce an accurate diagnosis of OSA for the prescription of CPAP?

     Two. For each OSA diagnostic strategy for which there is enough evidence in question one, how confident are you about the sensitivity, ability to minimize false negatives, and specificity, ability to minimize false positives?

     Three. Should each of the following be weighed as a criterion for the prescription of CPAP for the diagnosis of OSA?

     Four. CPAP is currently a standard treatment for OSA. Defining successful treatment as combined subjective improvement of OSA clinical signs or symptoms and continued patient use of CPAP for two or more months, how confident are you that there is sufficient evidence to determine the ability of each of the following diagnostic strategies to accurately predict successful treatment of OSA with CPAP?

     Five. How confident are you that each of the following diagnostic strategies will accurately predict successful treatment of OSA with CPAP?

     Six. How confident are you that no clinically meaningful harm to patients will be caused by a trial CPAP strategy as an alternative to strategies that require a positive prior PSG or home sleep test before CPAP?

     Seven. How confident are you that your conclusions can be generalized to, A, the Medicare population, and B, providers in community practice?

The results of the voting were recorded on individual tally sheets and compiled by staff. During the voting procedure, further discussion was held among the panelists concerning each question voted upon, and individual comments were made by panelists during each vote, amplifying their reasons for voting as they did.

Adjournment. the meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m.

I certify that I attended the meeting
of the MedCAC Committee
on September 12, 2007, and that these minutes
accurately reflect what transpired.
Maria Ellis
Executive Secretary, MedCAC, CMS

I approve the minutes of this meeting
as recorded in this summary
Steven Pearson, M.D., M.Sc.
Vice Chair

Panel Voting Questions

Download questions [PDF, 40KB] to panel.

Download score sheet [PDF, 23KB].

Contact Information

Other Material


Steven Pearson, MD, MSc Vice Chair
Director, Institute for Clinical and Economic Review
Bethesda, Maryland

Karl E. Becker, MD, MBA
Dept of Anesthesiology
Kansas University Medical Center
Kansas City, KS

Mark V. Boswell, MD, PhD
Department of Anesthesiology
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX

Gregory J. Dehmer, MD
Director, Cardiology Division
Scott + White Clinic
Temple, TX

Marion Danis, MD
Chief, Bioethics Consultation Service
NIH Clinical Center
Bethesda, MD

Saty Satya-Murti, MD, FANN
Health Policy Consultant
Topeka, KS

Mercedes K.C. Dullum, MD
Section of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Weston, FL

Loren Hiratzka, MD
Medical Director, Cardiac Surgery
Bethesda North Hospital
Cincinnati, Ohio

Marvin Konstam, MD
Chief of Cardiology
Tufts University, New England Medical Center
Boston, Massachusetts

Gregory L. Barkley, MD
Henry Ford Hospital
Department of Neurology
Detroit, MI

Industry Rep
Peter Juhn, MD, MPH
Vice President, Evidenced-based Coverage and Regulatory Policy
New Brunswick, NJ

Consumer Rep
Randel Richner, BSN, MPH
President and Founder
Neocure Group, LLC
Newton, MA

Doran Edwards, MD
Medical Director SADMERC
Columbia, SC

Barry L. Whites MD FCCP MSHA
Contractor Medical Director
TriSpan Health Services
Medicare Part A Intermediary
Jackson, MS

CMS Liaison
Steve Phurrough, MD, MPA
Director, Coverage and Analysis Group

Maria Ellis
Coverage and Analysis Group

Speaker List

Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee
September 12, 2007



  • Thomas Kehoe, MD, Medical Director, SNAP Laboratories

  • Michael Coppola, MD, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine
    Tufts University School of Medicine

  • William C. Dement, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine

  • Jon Freudman, MD, Freudman Healthcare Consulting, LLC

  • Charles Atwood, Jr, MD, American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP)

  • David Gourley, RRT, MHA, American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC)

  • Lisa M. Getson, Executive Vice President, Clinical Services & Compliance, Apria Healthcare

  • Kelly Garber, CRT, Division Clinical Manager, Respiratory Services

  • Stephen Burton, PhD, Diplomat, American Board of Sleep Medicine

  • Alex Chediak, American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM)

  • Philip Westbrook, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Advanced Brain Monitoring, Inc.

  • Samuel Kuna, MD, Associate Professor, Philadelphia VA Medicare Center, American Thoracic Society (ATS)

  • James Parish, MD, The Mayo Clinic

  • Mark Goetting, MD, Sleep Health

  • David Kuhlmann, MD, ABSM, Medical Director, Sleep Medicine Bothwell Regional Health Center

  • Terence M. Davidson M.D., Professor of Surgery, Head and Neck Surgery, Associate Dean for Continuing Medical Education, University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, Chief Head and Neck Surgery, VA San Diego Health Care System

Associated Technology Assessment