Various indutrsy organizations including the American Association for Homecare and the National Association for Independent Medical Equipment Suppliers met last week in hopes of hammering out an oxygen reform that the entire industry could stand behind.
Besides HME industry members, patients, clinicians, and physicians met to review a compromise reform proposal that would:
Eliminate the 36-month cap on oxygen payments.
Recognize the services that are provided as part of the oxygen benefit.
Create a mechanism to show cost transparency that is less burdensome than that called for in the current provision.
Preserves the definition of oxygen companies as “suppliers” (as opposed to “providers”).
Additional, the reform proposal will not include provisions related to geographic adjustments or competitive bidding. (The bidding program would be addressed in separate legislation calling for the elimination of that program.)
“This is an important step in the right direction, which means getting all stakeholders in the oxygen community working together toward a common goal,” said AA Homecare President Tyler Wilson. “After stakeholders reach agreement, many additional steps in the legislative process will remain before reforms are enacted or providers can take comfort.”
Wayne Stanfield, president of NAIMES, commented, “We are pleased to support the compromise proposal now under review by the participants at the Tuesday meeting,” said NAIMES President Wayne Stanfield. “We look forward to supporting the final language and joining forces with AAHomecare, state organizations, and the rest of the supplier community to protect the greater good of the entire industry.”