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Health care groups push for oxygen reform in new letter

Health care groups push for oxygen reform in new letter

WASHINGTON – A coalition of patient, provider and professional organizations called on Congress to support and cosponsor the Supplemental Oxygen Access Reform (SOAR) Act, legislation that seeks to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries have access to the correct type and levels of oxygen, in a new letter. 

The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), American Lung Association, American Thoracic Society, COPD Foundation, Council for Quality Respiratory Care (CQRC) and Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation spearheaded the letter

“The Supplemental Oxygen Access Reform or SOAR Act is critical to the lives of more than 1.5 million people in the U.S. facing serious health risks because they do not currently have access to the appropriate supplemental oxygen equipment and services,” they stated.  “People with advanced or serious lung or heart diseases may require supplemental oxygen to ensure their bodies receive enough oxygen to keep their blood saturated and to allow their organs to function properly. Unfortunately, many people – especially those enrolled in Medicare – face challenges in getting the right type and oxygen levels.” 

The SOAR Act, S. 3821/H.R. 7829, was introduced in late February in the Senate and in late March in the House of Representatives.

The act would: 

  • Remove supplemental oxygen from competitive bidding 

  • Permanently extend Medicare’s blended reimbursement rates 

  • Reimburse for respiratory therapy services 

  • Establish a separate payment system for liquid oxygen   

  • Mandate the use of a template for documentation 

S 3821 currently has three co-sponsors. H.R. 7829 has 12. 

Here is a link to the letter sent to the U.S. Senate and here is a link to the letter send to the U.S. House of Representatives.


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