Navigation Links
Statement from American Association for Homecare on New York Times Article about Home Oxygen Therapy
Date:11/30/2007

ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today's New York Times article by Charles Duhigg ("Oxygen Suppliers Fight to Keep a Medicare Boon," November 30, 2007) paints a biased and misleading picture of the healthcare sector that provides home oxygen therapy to Medicare beneficiaries.

The article contends that Medicare vastly overpays for medically prescribed oxygen therapy delivered in the homes of Medicare beneficiaries and that Internet pricing of oxygen equipment is a more realistic barometer of what Medicare should be paying for oxygen therapy. Medical oxygen is a prescription drug that is highly regulated by the FDA. The typical Medicare beneficiary on home oxygen therapy is an elderly patient who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The American Association for Homecare welcomes a genuine debate about appropriate Medicare payment policy for oxygen therapy. In fact, the Association and companies providing oxygen therapy have been working for more than a year to design alternatives to existing Medicare oxygen policy for Congress to consider. Unfortunately, both the New York Times article and federal policymakers have focused only on the equipment costs associated with home oxygen therapy rather than the complete therapy, which requires numerous services. Based on this misleading perspective, which is divorced from the realities of serving the Medicare population and COPD patients in particular, Congress has enacted numerous cuts to oxygen over the past decade, reducing Medicare payment rates for oxygen therapy by nearly 50 percent. Moreover, oxygen payments are scheduled to be reduced by an additional 19 percent over the next two years because of previous legislation, regardless of congressional action this year.

The fundamental flaw in the New York Times article is the dangerously simplistic assumption that oxygen therapy delivered to Medicare patients in their homes should cost the same as the Internet or eBay price to buy the equipment only.

The reality of serving this population is very different. A 2006 study by Morrison Informatics gathered and analyzed data from homecare providers that collectively serve more than 600,000 Medicare beneficiaries receiving oxygen therapy in their homes. That number represented more than half of the Medicare population receiving oxygen therapy at home. The study found that nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of the cost of providing oxygen therapy to Medicare patients in their homes represent services, delivery, and other operational expenses that benefit patients. Only about one-quarter (28 percent) of the cost represents the oxygen equipment itself. These service costs have not been factored in to any of the government sanctioned studies.

The article discusses lobbying expenditures by the home oxygen therapy industry. Lobbying expenditures by the home oxygen therapy sector is a tiny fraction of the total expenditures by pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and physician groups that seek to influence Medicare policy by lobbying Congress.

It is worth noting that all home medical equipment spending by the federal government is less than two percent of all Medicare spending. Long-term oxygen therapy reduces hospital admissions. The average daily cost for home oxygen therapy in approximately $7.60 in Medicare, compared to average of more than $4,600 per day in a hospital under Medicare.

The article also mischaracterizes the Medicare competitive bidding system and new quality standards for durable medical equipment. By design, this competitive bidding program excludes many home medical equipment providers from participating in Medicare - even if the providers agree to lower prices set by the bid process. The Medicare bidding program will likely drive large numbers of providers out of the Medicare program.

The allegation by unnamed Medicare officials that the home medical equipment industry undermined new quality standards is false. In fact, the home medical equipment industry advocated for higher quality standards than those actually adopted last year by Medicare.

These and other errors, omissions, and the use of unnamed sources to make unsupported claims in the New York Times article suggest that the reporter never intended to write an objective story.

BACKGROUND

In 2006, Congress dramatically changed policy for oxygen therapy by requiring Medicare beneficiaries to assume ownership and responsibility for their oxygen system after 36 months of use. Previously, the beneficiary used the equipment as long as medically necessary and an oxygen provider took responsibility for maintenance, a back-up oxygen-delivery system, 24-hour emergency service, and other services required for proper use and patient safety.

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. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt has called home-base care "radically more efficient" than institutional care. See http://www.aahomecare.org.


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

Related medicine news :

1. Olympic Gold Medalist Marion Jones-Thompson Pleads Guilty to Making False Statements in Two Separate Federal Criminal Investigations
2. Statement of Eli Lilly and Company on Dr. David Egilman Settlement:
3. Takeda statement on ACTOS meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association
4. Takeda Statement on ACTOS(R) (Pioglitazone HCl) Meta-Analysis Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association
5. Statement by Mike Leavitt Secretary of Health and Human Services on the United States-China Bilateral Meetings on Food and Drug Safety
6. Statement by Oscar S. Wyatt, Jr.
7. Statement from Employment Policies Institute on Senator Hillary Clintons Health Care Plan
8. Pelosi Statement on Proposed Entitlement Task Force
9. Statement by Robert Greenstein, Executive Director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, on the New Congressional SCHIP Agreement
10. Statement on House/Senate Agreement on SCHIP Legislation
11. Statement from the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, ... of the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, ... the city’s history as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts ... applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention ... health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong ... Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. ... to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer ... unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid ... healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all ... brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Collagen Matrix, Inc., ("Collagen Matrix") ... manufacturing of collagen and mineral based medical devices ... Bill Messer has joined the company ... leverage the growing portfolio of oral surgery, neurosurgery, ... Bill joins the Collagen Matrix executive team as ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016   Bay Area Lyme ... Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness , ... Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University of California, Berkeley, ... announced the five finalists of Lyme Innovation ... More than 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Research and ... "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" report ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart Skin, Structural Health Monitoring, ... Structural electronics involves electronic and/or electrical components ... replacing dumb structures such as vehicle bodies or ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: