We have heard from some members that some durable medical equipment (DME) suppliers are requesting that patients and their physicians agree to substituting liquid oxygen systems for an alternate portable supplemental oxygen system. Please be advised of the following before making a decision:
According to the Code of Federal Regulations, oxygen suppliers are prohibited from switching the patient’s oxygen equipment at any time during the 5-year reasonable useful lifetime period unless the beneficiary requests the change or the physician orders different equipment and explains why the equipment they were using does not meet their needs.
42 CFR § 414.226(h)(2)(i) states that "the supplier that furnishes liquid or gaseous oxygen equipment (stationary or portable) for the 36th continuous month during which payment is made under this section must continue to furnish the oxygen contents necessary for the effective use of the liquid or gaseous equipment during any period of medical need for the remainder of the reasonable useful lifetime established for the equipment in accordance with § 414.210(f)(1).
Please notify us if you are experiencing any issues related to this issue. We are in the process of confirming that such a change is in general underway, and will provide updates. Do not underestimate your story. It is important for Congress, CMS, and our community to know what is happening. Send comments to email@example.com.