The expedited accreditation program recently introduced by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has generated a surge in accreditation applications and is successfully helping sleep facilities comply with recent changes to Medicare coverage policies for sleep studies.

Less than one month after the April 21 launch of the expedited accreditation program, more than 100 facilities have expressed interest in participating, and 22 facilities already have been accredited through the expedited program. The AASM has issued an accreditation decision for some facilities in as little as 1 to 3 weeks after application submission. A facility that is accredited through the expedited program must successfully complete a site visit within the first year of the accreditation term.

“The American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s expedited accreditation program is helping to ensure that Medicare patients have uninterrupted access to high quality care for sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea,” says AASM president Ronald Chervin, MD, MS, in a release.

Medicare contractor Noridian Healthcare Services LLC announced in April that sleep facilities in Jurisdiction E and Jurisdiction F must have sleep-specific accreditation to be eligible for coverage for polysomnography and other sleep studies. Sleep facilities in the 13 affected states, including Arizona and California, still have time to become accredited by the AASM before the policy’s effective date of June 5, 2017.

However, applicants are encouraged to contact the AASM as soon as possible to initiate the application process. The length of time from application submission to accreditation decision depends in part on a facility’s responsiveness and the thoroughness of its application.