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January 27, 2009

Medicare Billing Requirements and Policies for Replacement of Oxygen Equipment and Oxygen Contents

This message is for suppliers and home health agencies that furnish oxygen and oxygen equipment to Medicare beneficiaries

Suppliers of oxygen and oxygen equipment need to be aware of the procedures for submitting claims for oxygen and oxygen equipment following the enactment of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA) on July 15, 2008.

Section 144(b) of MIPPA took effect on January 1, 2009, and repeals the requirement for you to transfer title to oxygen equipment to the beneficiary after the 36 month payment cap mandated by the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. Section 144(b) of MIPPA also establishes new payment rules and supplier responsibilities following the 36 month payment period. See MLN Matters number SE0840 for additional information about these new rules. This listserv message provides specific instructions for submitting claims for oxygen contents and replacement of oxygen equipment.

REPLACEMENT OF OXYGEN EQUIPMENT

New HCPCS Modifier for Replacement of DME

Effective January 1, 2009, the following modifiers was added to the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS):

RA – Replacement of a DME item;

This modifier is to be used on claims for replacement of oxygen equipment with dates of service on or after January 1, 2009. HCPCS modifier RP, which was discontinued effective December 31 2008, remains in effect for claims with dates of service prior to January 1, 2009.

Change in Oxygen Equipment during the Reasonable Useful Lifetime Period

Clarification of Policy Regarding Continuous Use of Oxygen and Oxygen Equipment

PLEASE NOTE: If medical necessity for the equipment continues during a break in billing/Part B payment (e.g., the beneficiary is hospitalized for 70 days but continues to use oxygen equipment during the hospital stay), this DOES NOT constitute a break in need, and therefore, a new period of continuous use DOES NOT begin. In these situations, the count of continuous months picks up where it left off before the break.

OXYGEN CONTENTS

Payment for Oxygen Contents (General Policy)

Payment for Oxygen Contents (When Monthly Payments May Begin)

PLEASE NOTE: The descriptors for HCPCS codes E0441 through E0444 reflect older policies and regulations and need to be revised to reflect current policies and regulations. For now, each of these four codes represents monthly delivery of either stationary or portable oxygen contents. The language in parentheses in the descriptors for each of these codes should be disregarded.

Proof-of-Delivery Requirements for Oxygen Contents

For example, if the 36th month of continuous use of the stationary oxygen equipment begins on March 11th and ends on April 10th, you may begin billing for monthly oxygen contents that the beneficiary will use after the cap on April 11th.

For example, if you deliver 30 oxygen tanks on April 11th and the beneficiary only uses 15 tanks from April 11th through May 10th and 15 tanks from May 11th through June 10th, you may bill for contents on April 11th and again on May 11th for contents delivered on April 11th that were used for two months.

A Change Request (CR) and a MLN Matters Article will be forthcoming that will incorporate the information contained in this listserv message.

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