In the fall of 2013, a bill was signed into law requiring that the formal rule-making process be followed regarding sleep apnea screening, testing, and treatment of truckers and other commercial motor vehicle operators and forbidding the issuance of any informal guidance on this subject. Now, the rule-making process is beginning, though it is still in an extremely early stage.

So far, according to the February 2016 Significant Rulemaking Report on the U.S. Department of Transportation website, Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) 2126-AB88 (“Evaluation of Safety-Sensitive Personnel for Moderate-to-Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea”) cleared the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on February 3, 2016. (It arrived at the OMB on December 11, 2015.)

This clearance clears the way for the publication of the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), which is also known as a “notice of intent” or a “request for comments.” Sleep Review will alert our readers when this request for comments is published on the Federal Register’s site, at which point it will be important for sleep medicine professionals’ to make their voices heard on this important issue.

The provided abstract says,

“The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) request data and information concerning the prevalence of moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) among individuals occupying safety sensitive positions in rail and highway transportation. FMCSA and FRA also request information about the potential economic impact and safety benefits associated with regulatory actions that would result in transportation workers in these positions, who exhibit multiple risk factors for OSA, undergoing evaluation by a healthcare professional with expertise in sleep disorders, and subsequent treatment.”

The Significant Rulemaking Report indicates that the ANPRM expected publication date was February 12, 2016; however, a status check this morning showed that it has not yet been published.

Sree Roy is editor of Sleep Review.