Senior citizens suffering from a certain sleep disorder may be able to get a potentially life-changing test covered by Medicare.
According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), a new policy will allow coverage of specific sleep tests that are used to confirm a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Prior to this policy change, Medicare coverage concerning various sleep tests varied from state to state, SeniorJournal.com reports.
With the new coverage decision by CMS, the program will have consistent coverage for sleep testing to eligible enrollees of Medicare.
"Medicare beneficiaries who have obstructive sleep apnea face significant risks for cardiovascular disease and other ailments," CMS acting administrator Charlene Frizzera told the news provider. "This coverage decision establishes nationally consistent coverage and assures that beneficiaries who have sleep apnea can be appropriately diagnosed and referred for treatment."
People who suffer from OSA can experience a temporary absence of breathing during sleep and most likely snore. The condition becomes more prevalent in older people with one out of 10 seniors over the age of 65 diagnosed with sleep apnea.
Research has also found sleep apnea may be linked to Alzheimer's disease, an incurable condition that is best treated early.