—via AAHomecare WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 20, 2017)—As first reported in December, AAHomecare has been working to get rural and non-bid area oxygen suppliers relief from double dip cuts in the 2017 Medicare fee schedule for stationary oxygen, which results in rates for rural and other non-bid area suppliers that are lower than the competitive bidding rates for this product category in many CBAs. These new rates stem from the application of a 2006 budget neutrality offset balancing increased utilization for oxygen generating portable equipment with lower reimbursement for stationary equipment.

AAHomecare originally raised concerns about the issue in this letter to the outgoing CMS General Counsel. It is now engaging new leadership at HHS and CMS on the issue and would like to reinforce these efforts by generating Congressional interest and support as well.

If these additional cuts are impacting your company’s bottom line and your ability to serve patients, please let your Senators and Representative know your concerns, and ask them to contact CMS on your behalf. You can use these points as a guideline for your discussions with CMS:

  1. Medicare improperly reduced payments for E1390 concentrators by applying a regulation introduced in 2006 that only should be applied to unadjusted fee schedules called the budget neutrality offset.
  2. CMS’s inappropriate application of the budget neutrality offset has resulted in rural and non-bid area rates being lower than CBA rates in many cases.
  3. The 2017 adjusted fee schedule payments for stationary oxygen equipment must be consistent with those based on regional average SPAs from CBAs.
  4. How these cuts affect your business and patients.

If you need any assistance in crafting your message or contact information for health care legislative assistants in House and Senate offices, contact Gordon Barnes at gordonb@aahomecare.org. Please also see our comparison of the rural and non-bid area rates to selected bid area rates for more perspective.

Visit aahomecare.org for more information.