The Home Oxygen Patient Protection (HOPP) Act was introduced last month by U. S. Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Jack Reed (D-RI). This bipartisan legislation was introduced to reverse the effects of the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act. That Act required that Medicare recipients being administered home oxygen therapy must purchase the equipment after 36 months, creating an unnecessary burden for the patient. The Senators were applauded for introducing the legislation by the Council for Quality Respiratory Care (CQRC). The CQRC is a coalition of leading home oxygen therapy providers and manufacturers who provide equipment and services to oxygen therapy patients.
There are over 1 million Medicare patients receiving some form of oxygen therapy in the United States. Most individuals receiving oxygen therapy have been diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), the 4th leading cause of death in the United States. The average home oxygen therapy patient is a 73 year-old woman with COPD. The major risk factor for COPD is smoking, with over 75% of COPD deaths being smoking related.
Senators Reed and Roberts led the way to change the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act. “The current regulations place an undue burden on patients, many of whom are elderly, and removes the important patient-provider relationship that has long been established in the field of oxygen therapy. " commented Sen. Reed. The CORC believes that capping home oxygen benefits at 36 months and forcing ownership of the equipment on the patient creates an additional an unnecessary burden for oxygen therapy patients. Peter Kelly, Chairman of the CQRC remarks, “As providers who deliver cost-effective, life-enhancing care, we encourage other lawmakers in Washington to support this legislation, which provides one of America's most vulnerable populations with the stability and continuity of care they deserve. "
Home oxygen therapy has proven over the years to be a cost-effective treatment method for combating COPD and other respiratory illnesses. When you compare the average cost per day of home oxygen therapy, $7.62, to the average cost per day for hospitalization for COPD, $4,606, the savings from Home oxygen therapy are obvious.
"Home oxygen therapy helps to provide comfort to sufferers of chronic respiratory illness by allowing them to receive treatment in their homes", stated Sen. Reed. Sen. Reed concluded by remarking “It is essential that those suffering from these conditions receive the best care available without the additional and potentially life-threatening burden of trying to repair and maintain their oxygen equipment".
About the Author - Chuck Jaymes is an indoor air quality professional for Oxygen Concentrators and offers reviews and information about SeQual Eclipse Portable Oxygen Concentrator for OscarAir, Inc.