The AASM announced what the techs have been saying all along: It is too time consuming to score a study twice, once for the AASM and once for CMS. The AASM changed the hypopnea scoring rules from 4% to 3% desaturation when they came out with the new scoring manual. When they changed the rule they did not take this small issue into account.
I believe that there is a lack of forethought when the AASM makes an announcement. Their endorsement of HST not only affected technicians but also the physicians they represent. Their suggestion for a new sleep credential fractured the field of sleep within the technologist community, hurting the profession and making the outside world wonder what the point of a sleep study is. The role they play in the AAST has caused distrust throughout our community as well.
When is the AASM going to take its role as a representative for the field of sleep past its immediate gratification and think long term? I have not seen anything they have done in the last three years benefit the field.
This is just another instance of causing difficulty. If they change the scoring manual it changes the rules and that affects education and testing for credentials. This change went up on the website and I would not have known about it if a fellow technologist had not told me. Where was the email from the AAST letting all the techs know about the change? Why didn't the AASM make sure everyone -- not just their members -- knew they changed the rule? It affects us all. We are a profession and as such we should be working together to show our professionalism, not our self-interest. I am annoyed to say the least.
I now have to go into my curriculum and my tests for my program and change the information. This is no small task. I will then have to go through a curriculum change form and get approval from the company. I do not know when the BRPT will be changing the test to reflect the rule change so I will not know when to teach the rule change and how to instruct my students about how to answer the questions on the boards. Did the AASM not think about how this affects everyone? Did they think about it when the originally changed the rules?