Study: PAP Benefits Start at 2 Hours

ResMed-led study analysis that the threshold for PAP therapy’s benefit ranges between 2 and 3 hours a night and helps the more it longer used.

As little as two hours of positive airway pressure therapy will still benefit sleep apnea patients, according to a new study led by ResMed and presented at the American Thoracic Society’s annual International Conference.

The study analyzed the anonymized usage data of 180,000 U.S. PAP therapy users to determine their average rates of hospitalization and emergency room visits based on the number of nightly hours (from zero to nine) that they use a PAP device.

The study found that:

  • The minimum PAP usage threshold for benefit was two to three hours per night (up to 50 percent lower than the four hours required by the CMS and many private payers to prove adherence).
  • Benefits begin at two hours of nightly PAP use and increase each hour up to seven hours per night. Benefits were seen at 90 days, one year, and two years into the study.
  • Over the two years, each additional hour of nightly PAP therapy use reduced hospitalizations by 5 percent and ER visits by 4.4 percent.

“This study can positively change how healthcare professionals prescribe and encourage sleep apnea sufferers to use PAP – and how they’re covered,” said Atul Malhotra, lead author and research chief of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine at the University of California San Diego.

CMS defines PAP therapy adherence as using a PAP device for at least four hours per night for 70 percent of nights in a consecutive 30-day period in the first 90 days of therapy. ResMed noted that patients who do not achieve adherence to CMS’s threshold can risk losing their machine after 90 days or paying for it themselves, depending on their insurance coverage.

“If just two hours of nightly PAP use can significantly lower a patient’s risk of getting hospitalized, our health systems should encourage and enable people to access and keep using these solutions,” Malhotra said.

Read the study’s full abstract by clicking here.

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