Discussions about the need for oxygen reform reach back to the middle of this decade, but the pattern of continuing oxygen cuts has made reform an increasingly urgent issue for HME companies. Oxygen patients and their providers need a Medicare policy that is fair and realistic. The time line for oxygen reimbursement should be based on medical necessity and align more closely than it does today with the true costs of providing the equipment and services integral to the benefit.
The reform plan outlined by the oxygen community would include a variety of changes to shift the benefit away from its current focus solely on equipment. Oxygen providers will be required to evaluate patients and participate in their care planning, provide beneficiary and caregiver education, supply 24-hour on-call service coverage and provide patient education and assistance.
To read more about an oxygen reform plan for the HME sector, visit http://healthcare-area.blogspot.com/2009/03/patient-centered-oxygen.html.