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Stakeholders to CMS: Acknowledge our concerns

Stakeholders to CMS: Acknowledge our concerns

Crispin TeufelWASHINGTON – A coalition of respiratory stakeholders, including the Council for Quality Respiratory Care, are again asking CMS to ensure that objective standards for prescribing home oxygen therapy are put in place to prevent payment issues for HME providers and access issues for patients. 

In an Oct. 4 letter, the CQRC and 11 other organizations, including AAHomecare and VGM & Associates, asked CMS to eliminate the medical record review for oxygen and to accept the clinician prescription/standard written order as the required documentation for establishing medical necessity.  

“Everybody is concerned (about medical review contractors) second guessing what has been documented by the physicians,” said Crispin Teufel, chairman of the CQRC and CEO of Lincare. “We want CMS to at least acknowledge (our concerns,) and we want CMS to understand that this issue is important to patients, caregivers, physicians, respiratory therapists, suppliers, and manufacturers.” 

The CQRC expressed concerns with CMS’s decision to eliminate the CMN requirement for oxygen earlier this year, in comments to the agency’s proposed NCD for oxygen. CMS finalized the NCD in September. 

The letter also supports the use of electronic templates for oxygen, something CMS has had in draft form for several years, with a third draft released in early 2017. 

“The templates are the right next step,” the CQRC told HME News. “It’s incumbent on the administration to take that step, as the DME MACs are developing their own guidance to implementing the NCD.” 

While CMS remains a “paper world,” there is momentum to move toward electronic solutions that increase efficiency and reduce errors. Lincare, Apria Healthcare, AdaptHealth and Rotech Healthcare, as well as AAHomecare and VGM & Associates, recently launched DMEscripts, an e-prescribing platform. 

“With DMEscripts, it gives an opportunity for the industry to even further push e-prescribing and make this referral process more streamlined,” Teufel said. “We can quickly get this implemented.”



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