Effective March 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued temporary guidance for home delivery of supplemental oxygen, according to an April 2, 2020 news release by the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF). The new regulations waive in-person testing and signature for delivery requirements to protect people with chronic lung disease during the coronavirus pandemic.*

New Rules

Since many PF patients need supplemental oxygen to survive, the PFF, American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), American Lung Association (ALA), and several other organizations had issued CMS a joint letter urging changes in requirements for home oxygen delivery. Previously, in-person testing and patient signing was mandatory for supplemental oxygen delivery, which could expose at-risk patients to coronavirus.

  • These changes apply to first-time users of supplemental oxygen, as well as patients who need recertification for oxygen prescriptions. 
  • Required patient signature at delivery has also been waived.
  • The new rules will ensure better care by medical professionals and better protection for patients.
  • This regulatory action comes on the heels of an increase in CMS telehealth services so healthcare facilities can accommodate more patients during the crisis.
  • These important changes will continue throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public Health Emergency Statement

As PFF President and CEO William T. Schmidt explained, ”These CMS rule adjustments will allow patients to remain as safe as possible and avoid exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19, while continuing to receive lifesaving oxygen.”

For more information on the CMS’ new supplemental oxygen policy, refer to their COVID-19 Public Health Emergency statement, pages 128-129.

*Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (2020, April 2). In-Person Testing and Signature Requirements Waived for Home Oxygen Needs. PRNewswire