ASBA makes the Oral Appliance Case in the Halls of Congress

[Cannon House, Washington DC 20515]

Entrenched opinions in the medical community have a way of lingering well past their prime, and so it goes with the continuing bias in favor of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Simple tradition conspires to keep oral appliance therapy underrepresented in the sleep apnea conversation.

In spite of the resistance, The American Sleep and Breathing Academy (ASBA) continue to make its voice heard at the highest levels. Recently, ASBA representatives spoke at the House Congressional briefing for the House Medical Technology Caucus in Washington, DC, September 27th 2016.

 

Caucus Co-chairs

Hon. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Co-Chair, Congressional Medical Technology Caucus

Hon. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Co-Chair, Congressional Medical Technology Caucus

* List of congressional caucus members

The house congressional hearing was entitled “Innovations in dental sleep medicine to treat sleep disorders”. The Caucus is interested in researching and discovering new treatments for chronic conditions such as sleep apnea. Not only does healthcare innovation save and improve lives, but it also realizes significant cost savings and remains a driver of America’s workforce and economy.

The briefing was moderated by Dr. Elliott J. Alpher Director, the Alpher Center, ASBA Diplomate, ASBA Board of Governors and  Huffington Post Contributor. “As our nation is confronted with increasing healthcare costs, we must acknowledge the epidemic of sleep disorders in America, the huge economic cost to the nation and the role of dentists as a key part of the solution.”

Hearing testimony was provided by the following speakers:

i. TMD overview and its relation to Obstructive Sleep Apnea “OSA” – Dr. Richard Klein DDS, Michigan Head & Neck Institute

ii. What is Oral Appliance Therapy and how it works and Microrecorder to prove compliance in custom oral devices for OSA – Dr. Neal Seltzer, DMD Long Island Dental Sleep Medicine

iii. Working with NFL Greats across the Country – David Gergen, Gergens Orthhodontic Lab, President of the Pro Players Health Alliance

iv. Former NFL Player Personal Testimony – Roy Green, Wide Receiver, Arizona Cardinals

v. Personal Testimony from a Commercial Pilot – Bill Weimer

vi. Non‐surgical upper airway remodeling for OSA – Dr. G. Dave Singh D.Sc. PhD DMD Biomodeling Solutions

vii. Recap and close regarding “Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the “Evaluation of Safety Sensitive Personnel for Moderate-to-Severe OSA” – Dr. Kent Smith DDS Sleep Dallas

Acknowledging that it can be a painstaking process, ASBA officials are educating members of Congress in an effort to share the latest oral appliance facts. With help from Congressional allies, the goal is that Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulators will add language to an eventual proposed rulemaking document. If advocates get their way, that new comments explicitly endorse the use of oral appliances to treat sleep apnea in transportation workers.

By presenting and commenting on the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) of the “Evaluation of Safety Sensitive Personnel for Moderate-to-Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea” [FMCSA-2015-0419] the ASBAs comments as an industry stakeholder will be placed in the ANPRM docket as part of the regulatory development process, with the objective being, every consideration will be given to the comments received.

“If we can get this information to trickle over to other governmental departments, and the transportation industry listens to us as well; that is our goal,” confirms Kent Smith, DDS, president of the ASBA and owner of Texas-based Sleep Dallas.

As it stands now, many of the larger trucking fleets are encouraging drivers to get tested—even mandating it in some instances. However, companies currently institute these rules on a volunteer basis.

With several high-profile fatal accidents connected to poor sleep, many experts believe a federal mandate governing sleep testing and treatment is all but certain. When that day comes, an acknowledgement of oral appliance validity in the text of a rule would be a major victory for transportation safety, as well as a boon to the business of oral appliance manufacturers and providers.

 A Necessary Step

ASBA CEO David Gergen admits that there are no guarantees in the mission to gain the attention of FMCSA bureaucrats, but the recent Congressional hearing was a necessary step in the right direction. The meeting took place thanks to Dr. Alpher’s regular communication with Rep Eshoo. Dr. Alpher serves on the board of the ASBA and is also on staff at George Washington University Hospital.

For the hard-charging Gergen, these connections represent an opportunity to get the word out at the highest levels of government. “Our next goal is to boost awareness at the U.S. Department of Transportation,” he says. “Again, we want to educate them about truckers and oral appliances.”

The connections help, but it’s the efficacy of oral appliances that catch the attention of all who care to listen. “We presented a study [at the Sept 27 hearing] that came out in 2015 that showed that if CPAP was used for a certain amount of time, and oral appliances were used for that same amount of time, the outcomes were identical,” says Gergen. “That was an eye opener for them. When you factor compliance into the equation, oral appliances should be a no-brainer for mild to moderate sleep apnea.”

Fortunately, Gergen believes the lawmakers clearly understood the message, even expressing surprise that oral appliance efficacy was not more widely known. “They were amazed at this information and how it has not been spread around the country,” muses Gergen. “They were shocked about the lack of information. I attribute that lack of information to the CPAP lobbyists.”

Groups such as the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) agree that oral appliances are excellent options for mild to moderate sleep apnea, and that agreement, along with ASBA’s considerable outreach efforts, are effectively sending the message.

Another part of that message is the power of celebrity, which the ASBA has been uniquely able to generate thanks to extensive connections, particularly within professional football, America’s most popular sport. Former NFL wide receiver Roy Green also testified at the recent Congressional hearing, and Green has joined other NFL greats in recent events designed specifically to boost awareness among the public and clinicians.

Ultimately, Kent Smith believes the message of oral appliance efficacy will resonate with regulators and legislators, primarily because proper sleep is necessary for public safety. “We must keep our citizens more awake on the roads, and the only way you do that is by giving them more refreshing sleep,” says Smith. “It amounts to a public health crisis, and it really needs to be fixed. Someone dies because of a sleepy driver every 70 minutes.

“This is very serious,” he continues. “Apart from surgery treatment to open the collapsing region, there are only two successful therapies for this—CPAP and oral appliances. If you ignore one of them, you’re putting a large portion of the population at risk. That was easy enough for lawmakers to understand, and I hope regulators will come to the same conclusion.”

To conclude, this campaign was initiated four years ago by Drs Alpher and Klein at a meeting in D.C. at Senator Debbie Stabenow’s (D-MI) office. This was followed up by a meeting with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMSCA), which led to a further congressional meeting. This mission is ongoing and the ASBA will continue to helping level the playing field for OA’a with CPAP and BiPap.

* Congressional Medical Technology Caucus 2016

Federal Caucus Member Baldwin, Tammy D-s2 Madison
Federal Caucus Member Barton, Joe L. R-h06 Arlington
Federal Caucus Member Black, Diane L. R-h06 Cookeville
Federal Caucus Member Blackburn, Marsha R-h07 Franklin
Federal Caucus Member Boustany, Charles W. R-h03 Lake Charles
Federal Caucus Member Brady, Robert A. D-h01 Philadelphia
Federal Caucus Member Bucshon, Larry D. R-h08 Vincenness
Federal Caucus Member Calvert, Ken S. R-h42 Corona
Federal Caucus Member Clyburn, James E. D-h06 Santee
Federal Caucus Member Cohen, Steve I. D-h09 Memphis
Federal Caucus Member Dent, Charlie W. R-h15 Hershey
Federal Caucus Member Dingell, Debbie D-h12 Ypsilanti
Federal Caucus Member Ellmers, Renee L. R-h02 Dunn
Federal Caucus Member Engel, Eliot L. D-h16 Mount Vernon
Co-Chair Eshoo, Anna G. D-h18 Palo Alto
Federal Caucus Member Guthrie, Brett R-h02 Radcliff
Federal Caucus Member Hanna, Richard L. R-h22 Utica
Federal Caucus Member Higgins, Brian M. D-h26 Niagara Falls
Federal Caucus Member Issa, Darrell E. R-h49 Dana Point
Federal Caucus Member Jones, Walter B. R-h03 Jacksonville
Federal Caucus Member Kline, John P. R-h02 Burnsville
Federal Caucus Member Lance, Leonard R-h07 Flemington
Federal Caucus Member Langevin, Jim R. D-h02 Warwick
Federal Caucus Member Lawson, Connie R-163
Federal Caucus Member Lieu, Ted W. D-h33 Manhattan Beach
Federal Caucus Member Markey, Edward J. D-s2 Fall River
Federal Caucus Member Matsui, Doris O. D-h06 Sacramento
Federal Caucus Member McCollum, Betty DFL-h04 St. Paul
Federal Caucus Member McDermott, Jim A. D-h07 Seattle
Federal Caucus Member McGovern, Jim P. D-h02 Leominster
Federal Caucus Member McHenry, Patrick T. R-h10 Black Mountain
Federal Caucus Member Noem, Kristi Lynn R-h00 Sioux Falls
Federal Caucus Member Pallone, Frank J. D-h06 New Brunswick
Federal Caucus Member Pascrell, Bill J. D-h09 Passaic
Co-Chair Paulsen, Erik R-h03 Eden Prairie
Federal Caucus Member Pitts, Joe R. R-h16 Lancaster
Federal Caucus Member Price, Tom E. R-h06 Roswell
Federal Caucus Member Roe, Phil R-h01 Morristown
Federal Caucus Member Rokita, Todd E. R-h04 Lafayette
Federal Caucus Member Ruiz, Raul D-h36 Palm Desert
Federal Caucus Member Ruppersberger, Dutch D-h02 Timonium
Federal Caucus Member Sanchez, Loretta L. D-h46 Garden Grove
Federal Caucus Member Slaughter, Louise M. D-h25 Rochester
Federal Caucus Member Upton, Fred S. R-h06 St. Joseph
Federal Caucus Member Van Hollen, Chris J. D-h08 Rockville
Federal Caucus Member Walz, Tim J. DFL-h01 Rochester
Federal Caucus Member Young, Todd C. R-h09 Greenwood

Source: ASBA publications

Alan Hickey

Alan Hickey

Publisher of Sleep Diagnosis and Therapy Journal the Official publication of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy, the Journal is a clinical and technical publication for dental and medical professionals.

More Posts

ASBA Diplomate Dr. Elliott Alpher In The Huffingon Post: Sleep Disorders Are An Economic Burden – ASBA Leading The Industry In Awareness

The list of direct and indirect health consequences related to sleep apnea is extensive and include stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and liver disease. OSAaffects about 25 million adults and is potentially life-threatening. 80% of these people are undiagnosed and unaware that their overall health may be in danger. Undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea not only takes a toll on one’s health and safety, but it also creates a financial burden for the individual.

An inclusive study conducted by global research firm Frost & Sullivan, which factored in economics, sleep medicine, productivity, mental health, and accidents estimated that sleep apnea directly and indirectly costed untreated adults nearly $150 billion ($6,366 per person) that include workplace and vehicular accidents, healthcare and medication. It also included habits such as tobacco, alcohol, sleeping pills, decreased quality of life, and stress that can lead to Heart Disease, Diabetes, Stroke and Asthma. Over 26 million adults are diagnosed with heart disease each year, and is the leading cause of death in the US costing an estimated $108.9 billion annually. In comparison, average annual costs for the diagnosis and treatment of OSA were less than half that at only $2,105 per person.

Fatigue and drowsiness have also been linked to transportation accidents and since drowsiness and OSA are correlated, individuals with OSA have higher motor vehicle accident rates, with a higher likelihood of personal injury. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) there were 1.1 million motor vehicle accidents in 2014.

The full article can be found by following this link.

Alan Hickey

Alan Hickey

Publisher of Sleep Diagnosis and Therapy Journal the Official publication of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy, the Journal is a clinical and technical publication for dental and medical professionals.

More Posts

Senate Committee Provides Response to ASBA Trip to Washington D.C.

In June of this year under the direction of David Gergen, CEO of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy (ASBA), more than 300 comments were submitted by ASBA members to regulators charged with overseeing the transportation industry. Evidence of the positive impact made by ASBA members commenting was clearly seen when the regulators extended the commenting period. Fast forward three months later and you can find the ASBA in Washington D.C presenting to a Caucus Committee of the U.S. Senate on behalf of dentists nationwide. “The goal is to make oral appliances the true benchmark for mild to moderate sleep apnea,” says Gergen. “Now we have received a response regarding our September meeting in Washington and plans are being made for us to go back. This is a excellent sign we are making progress.”

The ASBA is now waiting on a ruling by the Department of Transportation. When the ruling has been officially announced, the ASBA will return to Washington D.C. and continue to fight for dentists’ right in the field of sleep medicine. David Gergen says, “Dr. Elliott Alpher has been key because he is right there in D.C. When we need something done, Dr. Alpher has been able to mobilize quickly and attend meetings with congressmen and senators because of his ideal location and respectability.”

Gergen announced, “Although the previous meeting produced a compelling message to congressmen, senators and law-makers that hold influential positions there will be some changes made to the team to add more firepower to the presentation.” He will return with more NFL superstars and the ASBA board has agreed to add Dr. Rod Willey to the team. Gergen and Alpher are strategizing right now to maximize the impact by tapping into executive director Alan Hickey’s vast knowledge of computer graphics and digital imagery. Hickey acquired the knowledge and experience during his time spent working with Disney Dreamworks.

To learn more about the American Sleep and Breathing Academy visit AmericanSleepAndBreathingAcademy.com, email info@myasba.com or call 602-478-9713.

Alan Hickey

Alan Hickey

Publisher of Sleep Diagnosis and Therapy Journal the Official publication of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy, the Journal is a clinical and technical publication for dental and medical professionals.

More Posts

Announcement: The ASBA Recently Spoke at the House of Representatives on Oral Appliance Therapy

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The American Sleep and Breathing Academy (ASBA) is continuing to forge a pathway to better sleep nationwide. By providing advanced education to dentists and connecting them with physicians, the ASBA is able to provide potential patients with the treatment they need. Furthermore, public outreach is a key objective of the ASBA and what better way to do it than going to the U.S. Senate and presenting to congressional members and regulators? That’s exactly what came to pass September 27, 2016.

“Our objective is to make oral appliances the true benchmark for mild to moderate sleep apnea. We know big CPAP manufacturers have their lobbyists to ensure that does not happen, even though in 2006 the government said oral appliances should be a treatment option. We’re fighting every step of the way,” said David Gergen, CEO of the ASBA.

14358852_10207164405208480_7958188498817145388_nIntroductions were made by Dr. Elliott Alpher in a hearing that attracted approximately 70 members of Congress and additional regulators. Dr. Alpher focused on informing them of the innovative solutions for sleep apnea such as oral appliance therapy that will help people with public safety, government spending, protection for military, and all transportation personnel. “The lawmakers want solutions and oral appliances are becoming the answer,” says Gergen.

Dr. Neal Seltzer followed with a spectacular presentation. He began by saying, “David Gergen has done more for dental sleep medicine in the last two years than the entire industry combined in the last 30 years by spreading awareness of obstructive sleep apnea.” Dr. Seltzer then explained the benefits of treatment with an oral appliance and why dentists are crucial in identifying obstructive sleep apnea. Benefits over alternative treatments include low initial and long term cost to the patient and healthcare system, no replacement parts and they are travel friendly. Dr. Seltzer also brought to attention the ability to measure compliance of oral appliance therapy with a micro-recorder embedded in the appliance. With such technological advances, transportation workers now have an alternative treatment option available to them. Afterwards Dr. Richard Klein, a TMJ expert who has lectured all over the world, explained the importance in fully understanding TMD when delivering an oral appliance.

David Gergen, CEO ASBA, Speaking at the House of Representatives
David Gergen, CEO ASBA, Speaking at the House of Representatives

Next up to the stand was David Gergen and NFL superstar Jet Stream Roy Green. Together they delivered a powerful message describing the problem with sleep apnea and former professional athletes. Gergen illustrated a masterpiece, describing to the caucus how he has travelled the country and spread awareness to hundreds of thousands of people; his efforts have lead to the treatment of thousands of people. After Gergen was finished speaking, Green stepped up to the stand and opened by saying, “I’m not a doctor like the people that spoke before me – David Gergen is the smartest person I know – I’m just a football player here to share my story.” Mr. Green, who personally has experienced two strokes and three heart attacks, pointed out he has not had those issues since being treated with an oral appliance and how thrilled he is to be involved with an organization dedicated to saving lives.

Dr. David Singh specializes in providing natural ways for the body to improve snoring and sleep apnea in adults, as well as tooth alignment and facial appearance using novel protocols including Epigenetic orthopedics. As he presented, everyone in the room was amazed at the especially interesting solution because it actually increases the size of the airway, eliminating the need for life-long treatment with CPAP, oral appliance or surgery.

The presentation ended with Dr. Kent Smith, ASBA President Elect, offering a fantastic overview of the meeting. Dr. Smith emphasized how dangerous sleep apnea is in multiple aspects of life stating mind blowing statistics about the millions of sleep apnea related deaths/injuries in vehicular crashes each year.

Overall, the American Sleep and Breathing Academy’s trip to Washington D.C. produced a compelling message to congressmen, senators and rule-makers that hold influential positions. The presentations were more than well received and are sure to help dentists and patients alike across the country. The ASBA is in the process of scheduling another hearing that will be announced soon. To learn more about the American Sleep and Breathing Academy visit AmericanSleepAndBreathingAcademy.com, email info@myasba.com or call 602-478-9713.

Alan Hickey

Alan Hickey

Publisher of Sleep Diagnosis and Therapy Journal the Official publication of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy, the Journal is a clinical and technical publication for dental and medical professionals.

More Posts

Pro Player Health Alliance Reunites NFL Purple People Eaters at the Upcoming LHF Screening at the University of Minnesota September 17, 2016

More than 20 retired players will visit the clinic Saturday for comprehensive screenings by National Football League Players Association.

Marking the first visits under a new care model developed by National Football League Players Association-sponsored by Living Heart Foundation and Pro Player Health Alliance, more than 20 retired NFL players will visit University of Minnesota Health Signature Health and Wellness for comprehensive physicals, electrocardiograms, and lab tests this Saturday, Sept. 17.

The day of screenings is designed to help former players – like Purple People Eaters Gary Larsen, Carl Eller, Jim Marshall, Alan Page and punter Greg Coleman – detect and treat the unintended health concerns that come with life after professional football.

“Wear and tear from high-caliber sports, be it football or otherwise, tend to appear as athletes age,” said William Conroy, MD, medical director for Signature Health and Wellness. “Our program is a tailored, comprehensive care option to help busy people achieve and maintain good health, which is something the NFLPA wants for its members.”

The Living Heart Foundation, under the auspices of the NFLPA, refers retired players to specialized care around the nation. It also develops education and wellness programming to raise awareness about conditions that often affect older athletes, such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. When left untreated, these conditions contribute to the shorter life expectancies of retired players.

Signature Health and Wellness, located in the University of Minnesota Health Clinics and Surgery Center, is the first designated brick-and-mortar provider to treat retired players referred by the NFLPA-funded Living Heart Foundation. The program will apply genomic testing to personalize treatment for patients, as well as partner with Pro Player Health Alliance to treat sleep apnea. David Gergen, President and CEO of Pro Player Health Alliance, selected Dr. Greg Ross as the dental sleep medicine expert to treat sleep apnea and related disorders with oral appliance therapy when medically indicated.

David Gergen, also the Executive Director for the American Sleep and Breathing Academy (ASBA), only chooses ASBA members to connect with NFLPA chapters nationwide in order to ensure top quality treatment.  This not only guarantees the retired players are receiving elite patient care, but it offers an opportunity for the treating dentist to obtain testimonials from NFL legends. “I have complete confidence in Dr. Ross. Not only will he provide excellent treatment for the players, I’m sure he will work well with the players incorporating them into a fun and strategic marketing program. The guys will love him,” said Gergen. The previous dentist chosen by Gergen and Pro Player Health Alliance is Dr. Bill Williams in Atlanta. David Gergen says, “It’s my goal to have a dentist in every city that contains an NFLPA chapter and have them be our go-to doctors for oral appliance therapy.” More information on how to work with the NFLPA chapter near you can be found at the next Sleep Apnea 101 Course with NFL Greats. You can register for only $197 by clicking here.

Special guests at this symposium will be the four Minnesota Vikings Purple People Eaters (Carl Eller, Alan Page, Jim Marshall, Gary Larsen), Chuck Foreman and Maureen Bausch, CEO of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee.

About University of Minnesota Health
University of Minnesota Health represents a collaboration between University of Minnesota Physicians and University of Minnesota Medical Center. Working together, we provide exceptional care in a wide range of specialties at our hospitals, clinics and in community‐based facilities throughout the region. Visit: http://www.mhealth.org

About the Living Heart Foundation
The Living Heart Foundation (LHF) is a nonprofit organization under IRS 501 (c) (3) code. The LHF was initially funded by a grant from the Edison Foundation. Subsequently, Funding sources and donations have been obtained from companies like Covidien, Pfizer, Meridian Health System, Siemens, Professional Athletes Foundation, and from individual sources. The LHF was established by Arthur J. Roberts, MD in April 2001 to combat sudden cardiac death and to provide cardiovascular risk stratification with early preventive intervention for cardiac, pulmonary, and metabolic conditions through on-site screening and integrated follow-up health programs. The LHF has published 10 peer review papers related to CV risk in college students & athletes, as well as former NFL athletes.

About Pro Player Health Alliance
Pro Player Health Alliance (PPHA) is an organization dedicated to helping former NFL players, through providing testing and treatment options for those who suffer from sleep apnea. Since launching in April 2012, over 400 players have been treated through PPHA’s “Tackle Sleep Apnea” campaign. Also, the PPHA is dedicated to integrating education and raising sleep apnea awareness, in a fun and memorable way. In addition to the campaign, PPHA is dedicated to testing and getting people who suffer from sleep apnea treated.http://www.proplayersleep.org

Pro Player Health Alliance

David Gergen

602-478-9713

Alan Hickey

Alan Hickey

Publisher of Sleep Diagnosis and Therapy Journal the Official publication of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy, the Journal is a clinical and technical publication for dental and medical professionals.

More Posts

David Gergen Selects Top ASBA Diplomates To Speak At the U.S. Senate on Oral Appliance Therapy

David Gergen will lead the delegation of a committee formed with American Sleep and Breathing Academy members that will be presenting to a Caucus Committee of Congress. The hearing is scheduled for September 27, 2016 and it is estimated that 60-80 congressmen, senators and regulators will be in attendance.  “David Gergen, CEO of the ASBA, selected this team,” says Dr. Elliott Alpher who will be the moderator for the hearing. Gergen stated, “Our objective is to make oral appliances the true benchmark for mild to moderate sleep apnea. We know big CPAP manufacturers have their lobbyists to ensure that does not happen, even though in 2006 the government said oral appliances should be a treatment option. We’re fighting every step of the way.”

Earlier this year, under the direction of David Gergen, over 100 comments were submitted by ASBA members to regulators who are charged with overseeing the transportation industry. David Gergen says, “The law makers want solutions and oral appliances are becoming the answer. They are paying attention to the problem as evidence by their decision to extend the commenting period online two months ago. I give credit to our ASBA members; they did a great job by being proactive and it paid off.”

Dr. Neal Seltzer out of Long Island, NY is one of the dental sleep professionals chosen by Gergen to speak in Washington D.C. because he “views Dr. Seltzer as one of the top guys in the profession. Not just a fantastic sleep dentist but a fantastic person.”

When Dr. Seltzer heard the announcement that the ASBA was going to speak with Congress he said, ““David Gergen has done more for dental sleep medicine in four years than the entire industry has done in 30. He is turning this industry on its ear. Joining the ASBA is one way to encourage that kind of leadership and ensure that the dental sleep community continues to progress in the right direction.” The agenda will be as follows:

Dr. Elliott Alpher-Overview

Dr. Neal Seltzer-OAT/What it is and how it works

Dr. Richard Klein-TMJ

David Gergen-Working with NFL greats across the country

Roy Green/Eric Dickerson-NFL player personal testimonies

Dr. Dave Singh-Non-surgical upper airway remodeling

Dr. Neal Seltzer-Microrecorder to prove compliance in custom device

Dr. Rudi Ferrate-CPAP is overprescribed

Dr. Kent Smith-Recap

Alan Hickey

Alan Hickey

Publisher of Sleep Diagnosis and Therapy Journal the Official publication of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy, the Journal is a clinical and technical publication for dental and medical professionals.

More Posts

Don’t Forget About The ASBA Study Club And Diplomate Exam/Review Coming In One Month!

The American Sleep and Breathing Academy is an organization dedicated to enriching our members’ knowledge and skill in the treatment of sleep disordered breathing. Our goal is to provide current evidence based information to our members and enable them to provide optimal treatment for their patients. The Academy offers certification to its members as a confirmation of their knowledge, skill and experience. There are multiple levels of certification within our organization.

On September 23-24, in Phoenix, AZ the ASBA will be holding a review course is offered to Dentists who wish to attain diplomacy with the American Sleep and Breathing Academy. The review course is a one day seminar that uses mock exams and literature reviews to prepare ASBA members to sit for the ASBA Diplomacy exam the very next day. Some but not all of the questions in the review course will appear in the 2016 exam. All of the literature used in the review course will have been used to make up the final exam. Details/registration for the exam and review course can be found at the following links:

During that weekend, the ASBA will also be offering a study club to members in a non-vendor atmosphere. This means attendees will enjoy a pure learning experience from the most elite dental sleep medicine professionals in the country. ASBA mentors are required to have done $1.5 million/year in sleep. Each mentor comes from different markets and are able to share unique marketing and business strategies. Register for the ASBA study club now as spots are limited! Details/registration for the ASBA study club can be found at the following links:

Study Club
FridaySaturday, September 23rd – 24th, 2016
Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort
7677 N 16th St
Phoenix, AZ 85020

Room rates start at $145.00/night
Registration for the Study Club is $2,500.00
Link For The Hotel Booking – Click on “MAKE YOUR SELECTION” and select “ATTENDEE”
Diplomate Review/Exam
FridaySaturday, September 23rd – 24th, 2016
Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort
7677 N 16th St
Phoenix, AZ 85020

Room rates start at $145.00/night
Registration for the Review is $795.00
Registration for the Exam is $895.00
Link For The Hotel Booking – Click on “MAKE YOUR SELECTION” and select “ATTENDEE”

For questions please email info@myasba.com or call David Gergen at 602-478-9713.

Alan Hickey

Alan Hickey

Publisher of Sleep Diagnosis and Therapy Journal the Official publication of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy, the Journal is a clinical and technical publication for dental and medical professionals.

More Posts

David Gergen In Washington D.C. – ASBA News Update By Alan Hickey

David Gergen Spreads Awareness of Sleep Medicine

The CEO of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy has a clear mission: Educate and spread awareness of oral appliance therapy and sleep disorders to the public, and to the medical and dental professions. Serving as the ASBA’s CEO for the past five years, David Gergen has leveraged the power of athletic celebrity to shine a bright light on sleep disorders.

With a keen awareness of the popularity of sports in America—particularly the National Football League—Gergen has used his additional role as president of the Pro Player Health Alliance to bring football players to public events and hospital-based gatherings.

“High profile athletes are in the spotlight all the time, and they have the ability to reach the masses,” says Gergen, a dental lab technician by trade for more than three decades. “Dr. Bill Williams, a dentist in Atlanta could not believe how the athletes could get to the media and get the message out.”

There is still a lot of work to do, primarily because the medical profession does not have a good understanding of oral appliance therapy. “They have not been educated in medical school enough about oral appliance therapy,” muses Gergen. “As I work with more and more MDs, I see this to be true.”

In well-attended public events, athletes such as Roy Green, Charles Barkley, Eric Dickerson, Marcus Allen, Mike Haynes, Carl Eller, Chuck Foreman and Derek Kennard attempt to bridge some of that knowledge gap, at least among potential patients. More awareness naturally leads to more patients, and clinicians are responding by seeking additional education.

Reaching Out to Washington, DC

Gergen will lead a delegation of a committee formed with ASBA members who will be presenting to a Caucus Committee of Congress. Scheduled for Sept 27, 2016, the hearing will likely attract about 70 members of Congress and additional regulators.

Gergen says of the hearing: “Our objective is to make oral appliances the true benchmark for mild to moderate sleep apnea. We know big CPAP manufacturers have their lobbyists to ensure that does not happen, even though in 2006 the government said oral appliances should be a treatment option. We’re fighting every step of the way.”

Earlier this year, under the direction of Gergen, more than 100 comments were submitted by ASBA members to regulators charged with overseeing the transportation industry. “The law makers want solutions and oral appliances are becoming the answer,” says Gergen. “They are paying attention to the problem as evidence by their decision to extend the commenting period online two months ago. I give credit to our ASBA members; they did a great job by being proactive and it paid off.”

When Dr. Neal Seltzer out of Long Island, NY, heard the announcement that the ASBA was going to speak with Congress, he said, “David Gergen has done more for dental sleep medicine in four years than the entire industry has done in 30. He is turning this industry on its ear. Joining the ASBA is one way to encourage that kind of leadership and ensure that the dental sleep community continues to progress in the right direction.”

To those who know him, Gergen’s persistence comes as little surprise. As a former football coach at the pop warner and high school levels (with a national championship on his resume), Gergen was known as an offensive-minded coach, and it’s a strategy that he has long brought to the worlds of business and education. “I hardly ever punted,” he says with a chuckle. “The best defense is a good offense.”

Alan Hickey

Alan Hickey

Publisher of Sleep Diagnosis and Therapy Journal the Official publication of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy, the Journal is a clinical and technical publication for dental and medical professionals.

More Posts

OSA and the Transportation Industry – Rulemaking Recommendations Take Shape

WASHINGTON, DC (Aug 23 2016) – Sleep apnea rulemaking recommendations from the Medical Review Board (MRB) are in. MRB reviewed comments from medical professionals and associations in preparation for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA’s) and Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA’s) Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on obstructive sleep apnea.

FMCSA tasked the MRB with reviewing and analyzing all ANPRM comments to identify factors that could influence next steps in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) rulemaking. A letter from Gina C. Pervall, MD, CIME, chairman of the Medical Review Board, to the FMCSA administrator, highlights recommendations.*

 

General Recommendations Regarding OSA Include:

  • CMEs must screen drivers presenting for medical certification for OSA diagnostic testing in accordance with previous recommendations;
  • CMEs cannot issue a medical card for more than 1 year to a driver with an established diagnosis of OSA, regardless of severity;
  • A CME may certify a driver with an OSA diagnosis if the driver is being treated effectively; and
  • For certification purposes, “effective treatment” or “treated effectively” is defined as the resolution of moderate to severe OSA to mild or better, as determined by a board-certified sleep specialist.

 

Immediate Disqualification – Drivers should be disqualified immediately and referred for OSA diagnostic testing if any of the following conditions exist:

  • Individuals who have admitted fatigue or sleepiness during the wake period;
  • Individuals who have been involved in a sleep-related motor vehicle crash or accident or near crash;
  • Drivers found non compliant with treatment per previous recommendations;

 

Additional Recommendations

  • The CME should have the discretion to disqualify any driver who appears to be at extremely high risk.
  • Drivers disqualified for any of the above reasons must remain disqualified until evaluated and treated effectively.

 

Treatment: Positive Airway Pressure (PAP)

  • Based on the available medical literature, PAP therapy is the preferred OSA treatment.
  • Adequate PAP pressure should be established through one of the following methods: 1) Titration study with polysomnography; 2) auto-titration system.

 

A driver may be certified initially for up to 1 year if the following conditions are met:

1) The driver must document PAP use for a time period no less than 30 consecutive days (minimum records requirement – initial certification);

2) The driver’s PAP use records must demonstrate at least 4 hours per night use on 70 percent of nights (minimum compliance standard); and

3) The driver does not report excessive sleepiness during the major wake period.

 

Treatment: Oral appliance

MRB recommends that a driver with a diagnosis of moderate to severe OSA should try PAP therapy before oral appliance therapy, unless a board-certified sleep specialist has determined that an alternative therapy such as PAP is intolerable for a driver, in which case the driver should have the option to pursue oral appliance therapy to treat OSA.

Stated rationale: Based on the available medical literature, drivers with a diagnosis of moderate to severe OSA are less likely to achieve resolution of moderate to severe OSA with an oral appliance than with PAP therapy. There is limited data regarding compliance and long-term efficacy of oral appliances.

 

The ASBA urges its members to focus their efforts on advocating for OAT more

As Dr. Kent Smith, ASBA President Elect, stated, “It does say that moderate to severe has to be treated down to the mild category, and I assure you that getting moderate patients to mild with OAT is a slam dunk.” Additionally, Dr. Smith provided an example of a study that shows OAT and nPAP are equally effective when treating  mild to moderate sleep apnea. This can be found at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20962502.

Additional covered treatments are: bariatric surgery; oropharyngeal surgery (facial bone surgery); and tracheostomy.

* Article is a summary. To view meeting notes from 8/23/2016 meeting, click here

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/advisory-committees/mrb/draft-task-16-01-discussion-notes-8232016

Alan Hickey

Alan Hickey

Publisher of Sleep Diagnosis and Therapy Journal the Official publication of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy, the Journal is a clinical and technical publication for dental and medical professionals.

More Posts

ASBA Diplomate Dr. Mark Castle Holds Sleep Apnea Awareness Event with AZ Cardinals and Arrowhead Koala Sleep Center

With the favorite pastime of the fall lingering right around the corner how is it possible to incorporate the kick off party to the Arizona Cardinals season, raise money for the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association Charity and connect American Sleep and Breathing Academy (ASBA) diplomates with patients who are in need of sleep apnea treatment all in one event? Easy. Team up with David Gergen, CEO of Pro Player Health Alliance and Executive Director of the ASBA.

September 6, 2016 saw an entire day packed with constant media attention – multiple news channels and journalist were eager to get the word out about such a unique event. The night began with a crowd favorite, Bid Red (the AZ Cardinals mascot), breathing life into Cowboys Saloon located just south of the Cardinals Stadium. Kids flooded the dance floor covered in anything red and danced with Big Red and Lieutenant Holmes of the Phoenix Police Department to fun music.

As people continued to arrive, David Gergen and Lieutenant Holmes showed appreciation for all that attended and announced the sponsors of the event – Arrowhead Pro Sleep Testing and Arrowhead Koala Centers for Sleep Disorders. Both Koala and Pro Sleep were giving away two free TVs at the end of the night, a promotion that generated over 40 potential patients.

Cardinals RB and Rookie of the Year David Johnson, Cardinals legend Roy Green, Ron Wolfley and Derek Kennard delivered a message on the significance of being able to support local law enforcement, what sleep apnea awareness means to them and the excitement leading up to the upcoming season. Many people were stunned by the appearance of Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, but nobody was as surprised as Ron Wolfley about what happened next; Ron Wolfley and one of the Cardinals owners, Nicole Bidwell, were presented as honorary police officers, although Nicole was not able to attend.

The event ended with a players’ reunion in the VIP room, interviews by the press and the announcement of winners in the silent auction benefiting the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association Charity. Overall, the combined efforts raised approximately $14,000 for the charity. The American Sleep and Breathing Academy, Arrowhead Pro Sleep Testing, Arrowhead Koala Centers for Sleep Disorders, Arizona Cardinals, Cowboys Saloon and the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association Charity joined together to make the perfect team and created fun and successful night for everyone who was there.

Alan Hickey

Alan Hickey

Publisher of Sleep Diagnosis and Therapy Journal the Official publication of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy, the Journal is a clinical and technical publication for dental and medical professionals.

More Posts

Sleep Scholar for Sleep Medicine Professionals