Representatives Tom Price, MD (R-Ga.) and Heath Schuler (D-N.C.) have re-introduced into the 111th Congress the Home Oxygen Patient Protection (HOPP) Act as H.R. 2373, a bill that would repeal the 36-month oxygen equipment rental cap.
The bill says that it would “amend part B of title XVIII of the Social Security Act to restore payments for home oxygen therapy through the beneficiary’s period of medical need.”
“America’s senior citizens must have access to the highest quality health care,” said Price, who introduced a similar bill (H.R. 621) in the last, 110th Congress. “When it comes to health care, patients must come first. Oxygen therapy requires professional, attentive care, and current law is undercutting our seniors’ access to such care. By eliminating unnecessary red tape, we can make sure that folks who rely on home oxygen therapy have access to the treatments that will improve their quality of life.”
“Medical oxygen is a prescription drug that is highly regulated due to the safety concerns with misuse,” Shuler added in a public statement. “Home oxygen equipment and its use are not only complex, but oftentimes there are issues with the oxygen and equipment which occur more often, or at different times than, routine maintenance visits. It is of the utmost importance that we continue to protect the health and safety of oxygen patients, and make sure that they receive the care that they need.”
The Georgia Association of Medical Equipment Services and North Carolina Association for Medical Equipment Service coordinated closely with Shuler and Price to re-introduce the HOPP Act.
“We are very pleased to work with Congressman Price to introduce this bill,” said GAMES executive director Teresa Tatum. “We believe a direct repeal of the oxygen cap is what’s best for Medicare patients in Georgia. The HOPP Act offers a simple, common-sense solution to address the immediate risk to home oxygen patients as well as the providers who care for them.”
“Congressman Shuler continues to be a champion for Medicare patients and for our industry – his work to protect small businesses and the patients they serve across the country is well known and we are fortunate to have his leadership,” added NCAMES executive director Beth Bowen.
“This bill illustrates the importance of the state and regional HME associations,” said AAHomecare president Tyler Wilson. “While congressional offices work closely with AAHomecare’s professional staff in Washington, there is no substitute for coordinated support for HME legislation that comes from the state or the home district.”