Alpha-1 Foundation signs on to address barriers to supplemental oxygen under the Medicare Program

September 8, 2020

The Honorable Cathy McMorris Rodgers
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representative McMorris Rodgers:

On behalf of the undersigned organizations, we want to express our support for H.R. 8158, your legislation to
suspend the budget neutrality requirement for oxygen under the Medicare program. We greatly appreciate
your leadership on this critical issue.

The Medicare competitive bidding program has yielded significant budget savings for the Centers for Medicare
and Medicaid Services (CMS), but it has also resulted in unintended reductions in access to supplemental oxygen
for many Medicare beneficiaries. As we have communicated with your office and many of your colleagues on
the Energy and Commerce Committee, the precipitous drop in Medicare reimbursement for supplemental
oxygen has led to nationwide problems with access to supplemental oxygen. Barriers to access and service
disruptions have impacted all types of supplemental oxygen delivery systems, however, the impacts are most
acute for liquid supplemental oxygen.

CMS has recognized the problem and recently implemented changes in payment policy to change
reimbursement for supplemental oxygen. While we recognize and appreciate CMS’ acknowledgement of the
problem, the payment changes they made were constrained by budget neutrality requirements and were
insufficient to address the problem. If enacted, your legislation would give CMS the administrative flexibility it
needs to truly address the issue and restore Medicare beneficiary access to supplemental oxygen.
As physicians and health care professionals who care for and as organizations who advocate for patients in need
of supplemental oxygen, we appreciate your persistent advocacy to address barriers to supplemental oxygen
under the Medicare program. Thank you for your leadership.

Alpha-1 Foundation
American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC)
American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST)
American Lung Association
American Thoracic Society
COPD Foundation
Dorney-Koppel Foundation
Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation
Pulmonary Hypertension Association
Respiratory Health Association
U.S. COPD Coalition