Respiratory group seeks non-biased approach

Monday, May 31, 2004

June 1, 2004

ORLANDO, Fla. – A group of 23 clinicians, manufacturers and patients met here during the American Thoracic Society’s annual conference in late May to jump-start a campaign to educate family physicians and other interested parties about issues in long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT).
The group wants to fill a vacuum in advocacy for LTOT. While many associations push positions on oxygen therapy, the LTOT Network’s organizer, Bob McCoy, said a non-biased approach is hard to come by.
 “All the lobbyists and associations feel [that issues] have to go through them to have some credibility,” said Bob McCoy, managing director of Valley Inspired Products in Apple Valley, Minn.  “We need a group to come up with recommendations that are balanced, not biased.”
In an article now under the development, the group is exploring the identification of LTOT, services, reimbursement, outcomes monitoring and other issues for a journal targeting family physicians.
In 1986, when advocates of LTOT met in at the First Oxygen Consensus Conference, a committee recommended that more needed to be done to educate physicians about LTOT. The same recommendation surfaced again 13 years later at the Fifth Oxygen Consensus Conference. That, said McCoy, is discouraging.
“If physicians knew what they were talking about, and they told the dealer what they felt the patient should be on, there’d be a more legitimate approach to having access to the right oxygen therapy equipment,” he said.