UPDATED: House committee approves new oxygen-related bill

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Tuesday, September 8, 2020

WASHINGTON – The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday approved new legislation that seeks to address unsustainable oxygen reimbursement for stationary oxygen products, including oxygen concentrators, furnished in rural areas.

Introduced Friday by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, H.R. 8158 would amend both the Social Security Act and the 1997 Balanced Budget Act to waive the budget neutrality offset for stationary oxygen products. 

CMS began applying the neutrality offset in 2017, causing rates in some rural areas to fall significantly below rates in competitive bidding areas.

Another bill, H.R. 2771, also spearheaded by McMorris Rodgers, includes the provisions in H.R. 8158. It would also make permanent the 50/50 blended reimbursement rates in rural areas and would introduce a 75/25 rate for non-rural, non-bid areas. Introduced in 2019, it currently has 79 co-sponsors.

“This legislation provides a common-sense fix to an outdated policy and protects access to critical home oxygen products in rural areas,” said Tom Ryan, AAHomecare president & CEO. “Reps. McMorris Rodgers and Loebsack deserve great credit for working to give patients, caregivers, and clinicians peace of mind by providing a more stable operating environment for respiratory suppliers who serve small communities.”