Provider pickle

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Supporters seek to reclassify oxygen suppliers as providers as a way to get the product category eliminated from competitive bidding. The logic: Providers offer services - and equipment, not services, are competitively bid. But opponents say the strategy could backfire. If the industry succeeds in getting oxygen eliminated from NCB, members of Congress may seek to make up those savings with an across-the-board cut to the benefit, they say.

“One of the main concerns of the independent provider, when you talk about reform is, what is it going to do to the allowable,” said Jason Rogers, a provider and a NOC member. “Now they’re talking about working downward from the current allowables to pay for the competitive bidding elimination.”

Rogers believes the industry should tackle eliminating oxygen from competitive bidding in separate legislation.