Overhauling oxygen


AAHomecare sent out a media update this morning (Jan. 8th) that provides a few more details on its plan to reform the home oxygen therapy benefit. After months of working on the plan, the association shared it yesterday (Jan. 7th) with various industry stakeholders: state associations, The VGM Group, The MED Group. Some interesting tidbits:

*The "budget-neutral" plan would carve out oxygen from national competitive bidding and eliminate the 36-month cap. How is it budget neutral? Does the plan set up a different pay scale for patients with different needs, i.e. lower reimbursement for nocturnal patients?

*The plan was presented by Leslie Norwalk. Yup, the former CMS Administrator.

*The plan would change the legal status of oxygen companies from "suppliers" to "providers" to recognize the services they provide.

*AAHomecare has scheduled a Feb. 11 fly-in to shop the plan around Capitol Hill. Does that give the association enough time to tweak the plan based on feedback from state associations and others?

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We'll have a story in our NewsWire on Monday.

Stay tuned.

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