Ronda Says…Suppliers Exiting Oxygen Equipment Business – What Are the Rules?

Posted on in HME Government Issues

With the ongoing changes in the DME industry, suppliers are continuously making changes within their business model to be successful. It seems as though DME suppliers have to be prepared at the drop of the hat for anything that is thrown their way.

Lately, the hot topic has been in regards to suppliers exiting the Medicare oxygen business, whether it’s just getting out of the business or closing their doors all together. The message coming my way has been that oxygen beneficiaries are calling because they cannot reach their supplier. When this happens, the beneficiary does not have a DME oxygen supplier for support. CMS likes to term this as the beneficiary being “abandoned.”

Even though the supplier community does not like to hear about other DME companies going out of business, the good news is that the supplier who takes on the beneficiary gets to start a new, 36-month rental period for the oxygen equipment.

Click here to read an article that explains the obligations of a supplier who exits the Medicare oxygen business and the obligations of a supplier who takes over the responsibility of providing oxygen to the exiting supplier’s beneficiaries. A couple items to explain:

  • These obligations apply only to oxygen equipment; they do not apply to any other DME equipment.
  • Also, if the supplier who exits the business did not issue a letter of explanation to the beneficiary – and this has happened – the new supplier should have the beneficiary write a letter explaining the situation and should keep the letter within the patient’s file.

Take a look at the article, and let me know if you have questions.

Ronda Buhrmester
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