The American Association for Homecare called for a number of participants in the oxygen portion of the HME market to come together to form a “New Oxygen Coalition” (NOC) to help improve the oxygen benefit in Medicare.
The Association says it has invited a diverse group of parties, including small and large providers; regional and state homecare associations representing the Midwest, Georgia, and Montana; manufacturers; the buying groups (the MED Group and VGM); the Council for Quality Respiratory Care (CQRC); AAHomecare’s senior volunteer leadership; and other stakeholders.
“I’m pleased that other organizations see the need and urgency of taking up the challenge of working toward a new oxygen policy that will better serve patients and fairly reimburse oxygen providers,” said AAHomecare President and CEO Tyler Wilson.
“While everyone would like to eliminate the 36-month cap or get a better set of payment rules, both are difficult targets to achieve in the current political environment,” he continued. “Many within the oxygen community view the likelihood of more cuts to oxygen as an imminent threat. The big challenge right now is to develop a consensus plan that will address both the immediate issues and the longer term goal of reform. All of us face real peril at the hands of Congress and CMS if the oxygen provider community does not present at least a core of common principles to address the issues.”
The coalition had its first meeting this week and will continue to take shape in coming meetings, according to the association.