Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Liquid Oxygen News for Those with Medicare

Are you a liquid oxygen user with Medicare?

In certain areas across the country (see full list of these areas), Medicare now only works with specific oxygen suppliers, which means that if you have Medicare, you most likely need to use these same suppliers.

The suppliers are supposed to follow strict rules set by Medicare, but some have been breaking the rules, leaving patients unsure of their rights or options. The following outlines your rights with suppliers in these areas:

If you already are getting liquid oxygen from a supplier, then they cannot stop providing liquid oxygen to you UNLESS:

  • Your 5-year liquid oxygen service plan is ending
  • You no longer have a medical need for the equipment
  • You move outside of the supplier’s service area, or
  • You choose to go to another supplier.

If you are trying to get liquid oxygen for the first time or you are changing to a different supplier, then the supplier MUST provide you with liquid oxygen. Keep in mind that if your prescription for oxygen does not specify that it must be liquid, the supplier can provide any form of oxygen.

If you have Medicare, but you do not live in one of these areas, then suppliers do not have to provide liquid oxygen to you if you are a new patient. If you are an existing patient, then you should be unaffected by these changes.

Remember that these rules ONLY apply to suppliers who are working with Medicare! To find out if a supplier is working with Medicare, please visit CMS’s Supplier Directory. However, be aware that some suppliers may be grandfathered in and may not appear on this list. For more information or to report an issue, please contact PHA at (301) 565-3004 x773.

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