Navigation Links
More than 10,000 Medicare Patients in Montana Could Be Hit by Proposed Cuts to Home Oxygen Therapy; Access to Power Wheelchairs Would Also Decrease
Date:9/18/2007

ARLINGTON, Va., Sept. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 10,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Montana who depend on medical oxygen therapy to treat severe respiratory conditions such as COPD may see their benefits jeopardized because of dramatic changes to oxygen policy brewing in Congress.

Earlier this summer, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a reimbursement cut to oxygen therapy that was included in H.R. 3162, titled "The Children's Health and Medicare Protection Act of 2007." The House cut oxygen because it was unwilling to increase tobacco taxes enough to pay for their changes to the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and to Medicare.

The House bill would cut provider reimbursement for some oxygen systems and force patients in Medicare to assume ownership of oxygen equipment after 18 months of use rather than the 36 months under current law. The House bill faces a conference committee to hash out differences between the House and Senate versions of bills to reauthorize SCHIP. The conference committee will be made up of House and Senate members, including Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.).

The House bill would also eliminate the first-month purchase option for power wheelchairs in Medicare. Eliminating the first-month purchase option for power wheelchairs will reduce access for beneficiaries who suffer from long- term conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease, spinal cord injuries or paralysis. Analysis by the American Association for Homecare, which represents providers of home medical equipment and therapies, has shown that eliminating the first-month purchase option would result in the Medicare program paying more for power wheelchairs than Medicare currently pays.

Mike Calcaterra, president of the homecare providers' association for Montana, commented, "The Big Sky Association of Home Medical Equipment Suppliers is deeply concerned about the proposed changes. We would like to thank both Senator Baucus and Senator Tester for not including the cuts to oxygen and high-end rehabilitation in the Senate version of the children's health bill."

"Proposing even more cuts to the homecare benefit in Medicare is penny wise and pound foolish," said Tyler J. Wilson, President and CEO of the American Association for Homecare, the trade group for home medical equipment providers. "Homecare is the most cost-effective setting for care in the United States. Yet both oxygen therapy and power wheelchairs have suffered numerous, dramatic reimbursement reductions, which threaten to erode patient access and quality of care. Many policy makers don't realize that medical oxygen is a highly regulated prescription drug, and providing home oxygen therapy requires numerous services to ensure patient health and safety."

The typical Medicare home oxygen beneficiary is a woman in her seventies who suffers from late-stage COPD with associated severe low levels of oxygen in her blood (hypoxemia). COPD is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide and is the only leading cause of death for which both prevalence and mortality are rising. COPD is a chronic, debilitating disease characterized by severe airflow limitation resulting from chronic inflammation of the airways, decrease in functional lung tissue, and the dysfunction of pulmonary blood vessels. Approximately 15 million Americans have been diagnosed with COPD, and an estimated 12 to 15 million more remain undiagnosed.

Congress has reduced Medicare reimbursement for oxygen therapy by nearly 50 percent over the past 10 years.

The American Association for Homecare represents providers and manufacturers of durable medical equipment. Association members serve the medical needs of millions of Americans who require oxygen equipment and therapy, mobility assistive technologies, medical supplies, inhalation drug therapy, home infusion, and other home medical equipment, therapies, services, and supplies. Membership includes providers of all sizes that operate approximately 3,000 locations in all 50 states. See http://www.aahomecare.org.


'/>"/>
SOURCE American Association for Homecare
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. US Doctors Association Gives away $110,000 To NGO’
2. Blue Cross Signs Up 110,000 Minnesotans For Part D Medicare Plans
3. Over 10,000 Drug Addicts In Meerut: Survey
4. Michael J. Fox Foundation Awards $710,000 to Understanding of Parkinsons Disease Subtypes
5. Medicare Drug Deadline not to be extended
6. House heads for Medicare drug vote
7. New Medicare Plan - Mixed Reaction among Pharmacists.
8. Medicare Data would help in Drug Validation
9. Medicare Queries Expected To Increase Over Time
10. Medicare to cover services provided by rural health care personnels.
11. Cancer test expenses taken up by Medicare
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/2/2016)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... May 02, 2016 , ... The ... a time to honor the civilian nurses that care for its uniformed service members, ... signed a proclamation in 1974 designating May 6th through May 12th National Nurses Week. ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... 02, 2016 , ... The National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) ... (“the Match”), the system through which U.S. and international medical school students and ... were placed in the 2016 Match, and 29,572 were filled when the matching ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... 02, 2016 , ... MedPro Waste Disposal, LLC (MedPro) is proud to announce ... its mail back service for an all-inclusive rate. MedPro Disposal President, Dan Hansen, says, ... to all of the clients in the country who are looking for an alternative ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... Fla. (PRWEB) , ... May 02, 2016 , ... ... fat,” wraps itself around major organs, such as the kidneys, liver and pancreas. ... Robert Drapkin, M.D ., a board-certified physician in Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology and ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 02, 2016 , ... ... Centers (AAC) event, will be held at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, ... of Social Work (NASW) will be co-hosting the event. , This year’s conference ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... titled, "Skincare Devices Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, ... to the report, the global skincare devices market was ... anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 10.1% from ... 2023. Browse the full Skincare Devices Market (Treatment ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... Tie-up with Government hospitals as ... to save newborns   Fortis La Femme, ... collaboration with Breast Milk Foundation (BMF), a non-profit organization within ... Bank, ,Amaara, in Delhi-NCR today. This non-profit centre recognizes that ... and should be available to babies deprived of mother,s milk.  ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... Massachusetts , April 27, 2016 ... that Jeff Poulton , Chief Financial Officer, will present ... Boston, MA on Wednesday, May 04, ... audio webcast will be available on the Presentations and Webcasts ... a replay of the webcast will be available on this ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: