A group of 20 patient and physician groups submitted comments today regarding the proposed rule on Durable Medical Equipment (DME) and its application to supplemental oxygen. Below is a statement from the seven organizations leading the coalition:
"Today, patient and physician organizations joined together in commending the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for its recognition of numerous problems associated with access to oxygen in general and liquid oxygen systems, specifically. However, our organizations recognize that CMS's proposal will not ultimately solve the problems facing patients – especially those who require liquid oxygen – and today, are urging CMS to remove liquid oxygen from competitive bidding requirements.
"Our organizations represent and treat the hundreds of thousands of Americans who rely on DME oxygen. For too long, patients who require a high liter flow of oxygen have not been able to leave their homes, jeopardizing their physical and mental health and quality of life. Other patients have also encountered countless other problems, including delivery issues and insufficient amounts of portable oxygen for them to continue working or simply running routine errands.
"Everyone deserves the opportunity to live a full and healthy life and, together, we ask CMS to use its existing authority to exclude liquid oxygen from competitive bidding and take meaningful action to ensure that all patients who require supplemental oxygen receive the treatment they need.
"Our organizations look forward to working with CMS and the U.S. Congress to ensure patients receive the oxygen treatments they need."
Organizations submitting comments to CMS:
Allergy & Asthma Network
Alliance for Patient Access
American Association for Respiratory Care
American Lung Association
American Sleep Apnea Association
American Thoracic Society
CHEST/American College of Chest Physicians
Children's Interstitial Lung Disease (chILD) Foundation
Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research
Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome Network
Lung Transplant Foundation
National Association for Medical Direction of Respiratory Care
Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation
Pulmonary Hypertension Association
Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance
U.S. COPD Coalition
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.