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Oxygen Budget Neutrality Passes House Energy And Commerce Committee Via H.R.8158

Yesterday, H.R. 8158, passed the House Energy and Commerce committee which included oxygen budget neutrality requirement. If this bill makes its way through the legislative process and is signed by the President, it will provide additional relief to oxygen products. The HME industry has been in favor of this legislation as it is a part of the language of H.R.2771, Protecting Home Oxygen and Medical Equipment Act.

If you recall in 2017, CMS incorrectly applied a budget neutral “offset” to 2017 rural fee schedules for oxygen concentrators. This led to an improper reduction in reimbursement for HCPCS E1390 by an additional 11 percent on average. This forced reimbursement rates in rural areas below the average regional competitive bidding special payment amounts (SPA). The misapplication of this language, which comes from The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987, must be corrected quickly for the existing regulations to be followed. This “double dip” has resulted in providers reducing service in non-CBA areas for oxygen concentrators. 

As news came about of the opportunity for oxygen budget neutrality to be included in H.R.8158, many industry leaders reached to lead sponsors and HME champions, Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Dave Loebsack (D-IA), asking that permanent relief to non-competitive bidding areas be included as well. Unfortunately, it was not included in this bill. We will continue to push for the passage of H.R.2771.

We will keep you updated as H.R.8158 makes its way through the legislative process.