The American Academy of Sleep Medicine is waiving facility membership dues for 2021 and continuing to provide relief funds to support the sleep field, which is experiencing widespread financial difficulties related to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 2,648 AASM-accredited sleep facilities were recently notified that the AASM is waiving facility membership dues for 2021. All sleep facilities currently accredited by the AASM will automatically receive a complimentary facility membership for 2021 unless they contact the AASM national office by Sept. 28 to opt-out of this special offer.
Membership, which is optional for all AASM-accredited sleep facilities, offers numerous benefits, including a substantial discount on reaccreditation and savings on access to both the Sleep ISR inter-scorer reliability assessment system and the AASM SleepTM telemedicine system. Other benefits include free digital access to the AASM Manual for the Scoring of Sleep and Associated Events, reduced membership dues for facility staff, and promotional use of the AASM accredited facility member logo. Accredited member facilities also receive a listing in the AASM’s “Find a Sleep Center” directory on the Sleep Education website, which is visited by more than 3 million people annually.
“Sleep centers have taken a significant financial hit from the coronavirus pandemic, as many of them had to close their doors for weeks or even months when local cases of COVID-19 surged,” said AASM President Dr. Kannan Ramar. “A dues waiver allows sleep facilities to maintain access to important member benefits while having one less financial commitment.”
Results of the AASM’s COVID-19 pulse survey, completed by 551 members in late July and early August, show that about 46 percent are concerned about the ability of their practice or facility to remain financially solvent through the end of the year. Additionally, 66 percent reported a lower patient volume in the last month, and 36 percent reported that their practice or facility had to apply for loans or other financial assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The AASM board of directors will continue to explore additional ways to support our members as they navigate these unprecedented challenges,” said Ramar. “We are listening, and we are eager to respond to their needs.”
In addition to assisting sleep facilities, the AASM and the AASM Foundation are offering relief funding for state and regional sleep societies and sleep researchers.
Through its COVID-19 Relief Fund, the AASM has awarded $87,500 to nine state and regional sleep societies that lost revenue when educational conferences were cancelled or rescheduled due to the pandemic. The AASM currently is accepting applications for a second round of funding.
The AASM Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund is supporting current award recipients who have active projects by offsetting some of the additional expenses incurred due to the unanticipated effects of the pandemic. Nine sleep researchers have received a total of nearly $75,000 in assistance.
Additional COVID-19 information for sleep facilities and sleep medicine professionals is available from the AASM at https://aasm.org/covid-19-resources/.