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Optimizing Home Oxygen Therapy. An Official American Thoracic Society Workshop Report

Jacobs SS, Lederer DJ, Garvey CM, et al. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2018 Dec;15(12):1369-81. [CrossRef] [PubMed]

The system of delivering supplemental oxygen to the more than 1.5 million people in the U.S. who rely on it is broken concluded a convened at the ATS International Conference in 2017. The panel unanimously found that the implementation of competitive bidding for durable medical equipment, including home oxygen, nearly a decade ago by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has led to the crisis. A 2017 survey of nearly 2,000 supplemental oxygen users, conducted by the ATS Nursing Assembly, addressed some specific issues related to home oxygen delivery. The survey found that half of all respondents reported problems with their oxygen, including equipment malfunction, and being too heavy to manage physically and lack of portability, especially when traveling. Also, 70% reported having no more than 4 hours of portable oxygen, while 81% said they required more than 5 hours' supply. Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, CMS will suspend the durable medical equipment competitive bidding program for 2 years to assess it, but it is not clear what this means for liquid oxygen and other supplemental oxygen availability.

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