January 24, 2018
Media Contact: Ellen Almond

Home Respiratory Therapy Leaders Applaud Confirmation of Alex Azar to
Secretary of Health and Human Services

Council for Quality Respiratory Care urges HHS to immediately release the final rule on non-competitive bidding area payment rates and
advance competitive bidding program reforms

WASHINGTON – The Council for Quality Respiratory Care (CQRC) – a coalition of the nation’s leading home oxygen therapy provider and manufacturing companies – today commended the confirmation of Alex Azar to Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Specifically, home respiratory care leaders look forward to working collaboratively with Secretary Azar to release the pending rule that would provide relief to suppliers in noncompetitive bidding areas and to reform the Competitive Bidding Program (CBP) for the Medicare home respiratory therapy benefit, as well as other durable medical equipment. The CQRC is deeply concerned that the current program, particularly the methodology for determining payment rates, results in bidding amounts that do not align with actual costs of care or market forces. The negative impacts of competitive bidding rates applied to rural markets has limited patient choice in many areas due to location closures and job loss.

“As a coalition of Medicare’s home respiratory care providers, we congratulate Mr. Azar on his confirmation and encourage the swift release of the final rule by HHS to determine payment rates in non-competitive bid areas where providers are struggling to maintain quality services due to payment rates far below care costs,” said Dan Starck, Chairman of CQRC. “We hope to work collaboratively with HHS and CMS on competitive bidding program reforms that improve efficiencies and patient care. A sustainable competitive bidding program that adequately reimburses providers for the costs of delivering quality home respiratory care must be achieved to protect beneficiary access.”

Home respiratory therapy supplies and services are vital to managing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and other pulmonary conditions. Data shows home oxygen care reduces preventable hospitalizations and readmissions, signaling that reduced access to quality respiratory care in the home will result in increased emergency room (ER) visits and readmissions, therefore harming patient outcomes and increasing Medicare costs.

To learn more, visit and follow CQRC on Twitter at @TheCQRC.

Learn More About Home Respiratory Therapies:

Millions of Americans are living with COPD and Obstructive Sleep Apnea, experiencing acute respiratory failure, or living with neuromuscular diseases. These individuals rely upon home respiratory therapies to remain at home. Learn more about home respiratory therapies and how they can help.

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