20 Patient and Physician Groups Urge the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to Protect Patients Who Use Supplemental Oxygen

 Published: September 10, 2018

By: Heather Willden


Leading organizations urge CMS to use its statutory authority to improve the lives and treatment for Americans who require supplemental oxygen

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 6, 2018) — A group of 20 patient and physician groups submitted comments today regarding the proposed rule on Durable Medical Equipment (DME) and its application to supplemental oxygen. Below is a statement from the seven organizations leading the coalition:

“Today, patient and physician organizations joined together in commending the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for its recognition of numerous problems associated with access to oxygen in general and liquid oxygen systems, specifically. However, our organizations recognize that CMS’s proposal will not ultimately solve the problems facing patients – especially those who require liquid oxygen – and today, are urging CMS to remove liquid oxygen from competitive bidding requirements.

“Our organizations represent and treat the hundreds of thousands of Americans who rely on DME oxygen. For too long, patients who require a high liter flow of oxygen have not been able
to leave their homes, jeopardizing their physical and mental health and quality of life. Other patients have also encountered countless other problems, including delivery issues and insufficient amounts of portable oxygen for them to continue working or simply running routine errands.

“Everyone deserves the opportunity to live a full and healthy life and, together, we ask CMS to use its existing authority to exclude liquid oxygen from competitive bidding and take meaningful action to ensure that all patients who require supplemental oxygen receive the treatment they need.

“Our organizations look forward to working with CMS and the U.S. Congress to ensure patients receive the oxygen treatments they need.”

Organizations submitting comments to CMS:

Allergy & Asthma Network
Alliance for Patient Access
Alpha-1 Foundation
American Association for Respiratory Care
American Lung Association
American Sleep Apnea Association
American Thoracic Society
CHEST/American College of Chest Physicians
Children’s Interstitial Lung Disease (chILD) Foundation
COPD Foundation
Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research
Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome Network
LAM Foundation
Lung Transplant Foundation
National Association for Medical Direction of Respiratory Care
Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation
Pulmonary Hypertension Association
Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance
U.S. COPD Coalition


For media inquiries:

  • Alpha-1 Foundation –
    Bernardo Pisani: bpisani@alpha1.org
  • American Association for Respiratory Care –
    Heather Willden: heather.willden@aarc.org; 972-243-2272
  • American Lung Association –
    Allison MacMunn: Media@Lung.org; 312-801-7628
  • American Thoracic Society –
    Dacia Morris: dmorris@thoracic.org
  • COPD Foundation –
    Jamie Sullivan: jsullivan@copdfoundation.org; 202-445-4009
  • National Association for Medical Direction of Respiratory Care –
    Phil Porte: phil@namdrc.org; 703-752-4359
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation –
    Dorothy Coyle, dorothyccoyle@gmail.com; 773-332-6201

Email newsroom@aarc.org with questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you.

Heather Willden

Heather Willden is the Director of Governance and Strategic Initiatives for the AARC where she works with state affiliates as the HOD liaison. She also manages DEI efforts and strategic initiatives. Connect with her about these topics by email, AARConnect or LinkedIn. When she's not working, you can find her podcasting with her husband, exploring new hiking trails, photographing, and spending time with her family.

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