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Bi-Partisan Members of United States Senate Formally Raise Concerns About Proposed Cuts to Medicare's Home Oxygen Benefit
Date:3/4/2008

Joint Senate Letter asks Lawmakers to Reject Funding Reductions to Benefit which could 'Jeopardize Care' and 'Make Benefit Reform Much More Difficult to Achieve'

Letter Draws Widespread Support Among Home Oxygen Community

WASHINGTON, March 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council for Quality Respiratory Care (CQRC) -- a coalition of the 12 leading home oxygen therapy providers and manufacturers who provide care and services to approximately 650,000 chronically ill home oxygen patients -- today praised Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) for leading efforts in the Senate to protect Medicare's home oxygen benefit. Additional changes to the Medicare benefit, proposed in the Administration's FY 2009 Budget, would put even greater strain on the home oxygen community, currently anticipating cuts totaling nearly 18.8 percent, or approximately $710 million in 2009 and $855 million in 2010.

"The respiratory care community thanks Sens. Lincoln and Roberts for their bi-partisan effort to prevent further funding cuts to Medicare's home oxygen benefit -- on top of deep cuts currently being implemented -- which would jeopardize critical patient care services, as well as hinder benefit reform opportunities in the future," said Peter Kelly, Chairman of the CQRC. "Additional cuts to this benefit could create unnecessary barriers to quality care for patients and complex new challenges for providers who are already struggling to prepare for unprecedented changes to this benefit."

CQRC also applauds Sens. Ken Salazar (D-CO), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Tim Johnson (D-SD), George Voinovich (R-OH), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Kit Bond (R-MO) , Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) for co-signing the letter and standing up for the more than 1.4 million Americans who depend on home oxygen therapy for independence and quality of life.

Excerpts from the Lincoln-Roberts letter to the Senate Bu
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SOURCE Council for Quality Respiratory Care
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