Medicare Oxygen Benefit
Published: December 7, 2007
To the Editor:
Golden Opportunities: Oxygen Suppliers Fight to Keep a Medicare Boon (November 30, 2007)
Your Nov. 30 front-page article “Oxygen Suppliers Fight to Keep a Medicare Boon” misses the most salient points in the debate over Medicare home oxygen therapy.
While the article focused on oxygen therapy as merely equipment rental, it is in fact a highly regulated, prescribed medical treatment. Patients require not only equipment but also corresponding services that are essential in ensuring that they benefit from the therapy as prescribed and effectively manage their incurable lung disease.
Used properly, government data demonstrate that oxygen therapy reduces the frequency and duration of hospitalizations, resulting in program savings of hundreds of millions of dollars, while allowing patients suffering from severe lung disease to remain stable at home.
When analyzing Medicare policy for home oxygen therapy, it is critical that policy makers and the oxygen therapy community work together toward thoughtful reforms that balance appropriate Medicare financing with the intensive service needs of this vulnerable patient population.
Novato, Calif., Dec. 3, 2007
The writer is chairman of the Council for Quality Respiratory Care, a group of the nation’s leading home oxygen therapy providers and manufacturers, representing a majority of the more than one million Medicare patients who depend on the home oxygen benefit for their care.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Medicare Oxygen Benefit Letter to NYTimes Editor
Below is a letter to the editor published in today’s New York Times responding to the recently published article on home oxygen therapy.
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