Region D: HMEs can help with oximetry testing

Sunday, March 31, 2002

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A recent statement by Region D Medical Director Robert Hoover appears to have muddied the waters when it comes to HMEs and pulse oximetry testing.

Because of a perceived conflict of interest in requalifying their own oxygen patients, the DMERCs have traditionally looked down on providers playing a role in oximetry testing.
However, in January, Janet Peterson, who owns Peterson Oximetry Services in Modesto Calif., an independent testing facility (IDTF), asked Hoover two questions:

1. Can a technician from an IDTF perform oximetry testing on the physical premises of a DME supplier?

2. May a sealed oximeter be provided to a DME company by the IDTF for delivery and pickup by the DME company in order to perform overnight oximetry? The oximeter would be returned to the IDTF and the results downloaded and faxed to the treating physician.

To both questions, Hoover replied: Yes, this is permissible.

"Note that these answers are predicated on the assumption, as stated in your letter, that there are not payments or other renumeration between the IDTF and DME company as part of the arrangement," Hoover added. HME