medicare rule on paying for Oxygen vexes patient
CMS is trying to dismantle the home medical equipment services industry. The rules concerning Home Oxygen Therapy reimbursement are short-sighted and arbitrary. Home Oxygen Therapy (HOT) is an ongoing service that guarantees 24/7 availability of Medical grade Oxygen to patients in the cost-effective environment of their own homes. To stop payment after an arbitrary time period puts patients at risk for finding providers to support their therapy needs, dis-insentivizes providers from givning good service after a period of months because they know that a patient is now locked in because of the cap, prevents patients from finding a new provider if they are unhappy with the service or decide to move, and threatens hospitals with longer lengths of stays for patients if there are not enough providers in an area to provide the needed HOT.
Competitive bidding is neither competitive nor bidding. It is an effort to eliminate 80-90% of the provider base. Consolidation of providers results in putting the provider farther from the patient. Home Healthcare is like Politics, its local, and the farther the provider is from the patient the more likely it is that cracks will open up in the care of that patient. If CMS wants to reduce the provider community, let them enforce the rules that are already on the books. Get rid of the companies that are not doing it right. No one in this industry wants the companies around that are practicing fraudulently or are not doing it according to best standards of practice. Competitive bidding has been shown to actually increase the probability of fraud and abuse by awarding contracts to companies not in the markets awarded and that have no history of doing the procedures awarded. Competitive bidding will result in throwing the baby out with the bath water, by eliminating solid companies that don’t bid as low because they understnad the business and know what is too low.