Senators join fight to eliminate O2 cap

Saturday, June 30, 2007

WASHINGTON - Two senators introduced a bill May 24 that would do away with the 36-month cap on Medicare oxygen payments and eliminate the requirement that equipment ownership transfer to the patient following the cap.
Sens. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Jack Reed, D-R.I., have introduced S. 1484, a bill that would restore Medicare policy for oxygen therapy to what it was before the Deficit Reduction Act. The DRA made sweeping changes to oxygen policy, including the 36-month cap and ownership transfer.
S. 1484 is a companion bill to the Home Oxygen Patient Protection Act, which was introduced in the House Jan. 22. H.R. 621 has 83 co-sponsors. The two bills are identical. They reflect growing support for a return to a patient-centered oxygen policy and signal to Congress that further erosion of oxygen reimbursement is unacceptable, according to AAHomecare.
The House and Senate versions of the legislation are top priorities for AAHomecare. The association urges every stakeholder to contact their representatives to express support for these bills, along with the competitive bidding bills, H.R. 1845 and S. 1428.