CMS grants portable concentrator a K code

Sunday, March 6, 2005

March 7, 2005

WASHINGTON  - CMS has issued reimbursement guidance for a new class of portable oxygen concentrators that serves as a single solution for a patient’s long-term oxygen therapy needs.
CMS bulletin Code K0671 describes a portable oxygen concentrator system and “is to be used when billing Medicare for the portable equipment add-on fee for patients using lightweight oxygen concentrators that can function as both the patient’s stationary equipment and portable equipment.”
 “This is great news, especially for providers,” said Kathy Odell, CEO of Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Inogen. “Credit should be given to each of the DMERCs and the SADMERC who demonstrated a willingness to evaluate an emerging oxygen technology within a rapidly changing marketplace.”
The new reimbursement guidance is further validation of the design and intended use of the Inogen One, which was designed to be a single solution for patients and providers, said Odell.
Providers can begin billing for the new code April 1. K0671 should be used in combination with E1390 to identify and insure appropriate coverage of both the stationary and portable applications of the oxygen system.
Inogen began shipping the Inogen One in late 2004. In December, the company first received word from CMS that the Inogen One met the criteria for both an oxygen concentrator and a portable gaseous oxygen system as defined by the DMERC Policy for Oxygen and Oxygen Equipment. Based on that guidance, providers were instructed to bill for the Inogen One using both E1390 for the stationary component and E0431 for the portable add-on until the new code goes into effect.