Oxygen therapy and durable medical equipment are prime targets for Medicare reimbursement cuts, according to the American Association for Homecare.
AAHomecare said in a public statement released Wednesday that senior staff from two congressional committees confirmed the cuts at a Wednesday conference.
The association said an aide to the Senate Finance Committee specified oxygen as an area for Medicare cuts and that the cuts would come in the form of reduced payment rates instead of shortened rental timelines. A senior staff member for a Ways and Means committee agreed that reduced payment rates would be the preferred method, AAHomecare reported.
This comes as the House went back into session this week, and the Senate prepares to return next week. At the top of their agenda will likely be Medicare legislation to prevent physician’s pay cuts, which are slated to hit July 1. To delay that, Congress would need to enact an 18-month “doc fix” to postpone the cuts, which would cost between $12 billion and $15 billion over five years, AAHomecare said.
As they say in Denmark, “Therein lies the rub.” AAHomecare noted that Congress would need to offset any increases with other Medicare spending cuts, which prompted some members of Congress to line up home oxygen therapy and other DME categories in their sights.