Oxygen utilization nosedives

 - 
06/10/2009

Most of you are familiar with the Medicare Market Marker in the back of each issue of HME News. The marker tracks the number of allowed beneficiaries in a given month for five product categories.

Here's a preview of what you'll see in our July issue: The number of allowed beneficiaries for oxygen concentrators (E1390) for January 2009 fell off a cliff. In Jurisdiction C, for example, the number of allowed beneficiaries was 277,292 in January compared to 407,719 in December.

Not coincidentally, the 36-month cap on Medicare oxygen reimbursement went into effect in January.

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Also of interest: The number of allowed beneficiaries for CPAPs (E0601) dropped, though not as precipitously as oxygen concentrators. In Jurisdiction C, for example, the number of allowed beneficiaries for CPAPs was 79,494 in January compared to 87,148 in December.

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New compliance requirements for CPAPs went into effect in November that require patients to make followup visits with physicians between 61 and 90 days and meet certain criteria for continued coverage. Ninety days from November puts us square into January.

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