Physicians! Are You Ordering Oxygen For Your Patient?
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August 6, 2015

Physicians! Are You Ordering Oxygen For Your Patient?

Your medical record documentation determines whether your patient can receive the oxygen equipment and supplies you have prescribed and the amount of the patient's out of pocket expenses.

Your medical record documentation must show that other alternative treatments (e.g., medical and physical therapy directed at secretions, bronchospasm and infection) have been tried or considered and deemed clinically ineffective. The documentation must show the patient was seen within 30 days prior to the start of oxygen therapy. The medical record must show the medical condition necessitating the home use of oxygen therapy. The medical record and/or prescription would indicate the oxygen flow rate (e.g., 2 liters per minute), and the estimation of the frequency (10 minutes per hour), duration of use (12 hours per day) and duration of need (6 months.) You must specify the type of oxygen deliver system to be used (i.e. portable/stationary concentrator, compressed gas portable/stationary, liquid portable/stationary.)

Medicare can make payment for home oxygen supplies and equipment when the patient's medical record shows the patient has significant hypoxemia and meets medical documentation, test results, and health conditions as specified in the CMS Internet-Only Manual (IOM) Publication 100-03, Section 240.2. PDF

You must complete and sign Form CMS-484 (Certificate of Medical Necessity (CMN): Oxygen.) PDF However, the CMN itself is not considered part of the medical record. All information included in the CMN must be supported by the contemporaneous medical record. You can find instructions on completing this form in the CMS IOM Publication 100-08, Chapter 5. PDF

The Comprehensive Error Rate Testing (CERT) contractor has identified multiple errors in the claims received for oxygen equipment and supplies. These errors include missing physician clinical records showing the patient's condition and the continued need for oxygen, missing signed and dated order from the physician when changing the oxygen liter flow rate, missing copy of the oxygen saturation testing, and missing treating physician's re-evaluation for recertification CMN.

Help your patients and the Medicare program by verifying you have the medical record documentation to support the order and supply of oxygen for your patients. This allows Medicare to pay claims appropriately.

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