Major oxygen cuts in the works


If you’ve got any pull with a U.S. representative or senator, you better reach out to them ASAP and explain why they should vote against deep cuts to Medicare oxygen reimbursement.

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As of this morning, the Senate Finance Committee was considering legislation that would cut reimbursement for stationary concentrators by 40% to $120 a month and a provision to cut reimbursement for traditional portable oxygen tanks by 15%. It doesn’t include a cut for new non-delivery technology: portable oxygen concentrators and transfilling concentrators.

The House of Representatives wants to reduce the cap on Medicare oxygen reimbursement from 36 to 18 months.

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These cuts are all part of a Medicare package being crafted to help lawmakers avoid cutting Medicare reimbursement to doctors by 5% beginning Jan. 1.

One provider told me that while in Washington yesterday, he saw a lot of doctors walking around and they didn’t look worried. That’s not good news for HME providers.

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If it was me, I’d call, fax or email all my representatives and encourage my patients to do the same. Explain why these cuts are bad for patients and the industry.

Ping Pong Playa move As one industry insider told me, “We’re running out of time.”

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12:01 movie download I know it’s the holiday season, but if lawmakers pass these drastic cuts to oxygen reimbursement and President Bush signs off on them, there won’t be much to celebrate for HME providers.

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