CMS struggles to clarify new oxygen equipment law

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Officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have been working to dispel rumors that a new federal law could limit Medicare beneficiary access to oxygen equipment, according to recent news reports.

The new law, set to take effect Jan. 1, limits Medicare rental coverage of oxygen concentrators to three years but stipulates that suppliers must continue to maintain the equipment for up to five years. Some oxygen suppliers view the two-year post-coverage window as a time when suppliers will be forced to eat the costs of the equipment rental, according to The Boston Globe. In retaliation, some oxygen suppliers have sent misleading letters to seniors suggesting that, as a result of the law, they would be immediately left without home oxygen equipment, reports the Globe.

CMS officials have been attempted to assure suppliers that their concerns are unfounded, and notifying seniors that there will not be any interruption to their home oxygen equipment supply. CMS has said they will take action against those suppliers who have misled the public. Penalties could range from a warning letter to revocation of supplier billing numbers, according to the Globe.
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