Coalition wants liquid oxygen out of bid program

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Friday, September 7, 2018

WASHINGTON – A coalition of 20 patient and physician groups is asking CMS to remove liquid oxygen from its competitive bidding program.

“For too long, patients who require a high-liter flow of oxygen have not been able to leave their homes, jeopardizing their physical and mental health and quality of life,” stated seven organizations leading the coalition. “Everyone deserves the opportunity to live a full and healthy life and, together, we ask CMS to use its existing authority to exclude oxygen from competitive bidding.”

The coalition, which includes the American Association for Respiratory Care and the American Lung Association, made the argument in comments that it submitted to a recent proposed rule. In the rule, CMS proposes creating two separate payment classes for liquid equipment and liquid contents, in an attempt to increase access to the therapy.

The coalition commends CMS for its “recognition of numerous problems associated with access to oxygen, in general, and liquid oxygen systems, specifically.”

“However, our organizations recognize that CMS’s proposal will not, ultimately, solve the problems facing patients—especially those who require liquid oxygen,” the organizations state.

The coalition says it looks forward to working with CMS and Congress to ensure patients receive the oxygen treatments that they need.

Other organizations in the group are: Allergy & Asthma Network, Alliance for Patient Access, Alpha-1 Foundation, American Sleep Apnea Association, American Thoracic Society, CHEST/American College of Chest Physicians, Children’s Interstitial Lung Disease Foundation, COPD Foundation, Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research, Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome Network, LAM Foundation, Lung Transplant Foundation, LUNGevity, National Association for Medical Direction of Respiratory Care, Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, Pulmonary Hypertension Association, Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance and U.S. COPD Coalition.