NEW LCD OXYGEN MEDICAL POLICY
The LCD Oxygen Medical Policy has recently been revised to incorporate the substance of Transmittal 173 and much of the subsequent guidance. This LCD became effective January 1, 2007, and it states: beneficiaries may self-administer home-based overnight oximetry tests under the direction of a Medicare-enrolled IDTF. A DME supplier or another shipping entity may deliver a pulse oximetry test unit and related technology to a beneficiary's home under the following circumstances:
- The beneficiary's treating physician has ordered an overnight pulse oximetry test before the test is performed.
- The test is performed under the direction and/or instruction of a Medicare-approved IDTF. Because it is the beneficiary who self-administers this test, the IDTF must provide clear written instructions to the beneficiary on proper operation of the test equipment and must include access to the IDTF to address other concerns that may arise. The DME supplier may not create this written instruction, provide verbal instructions, answer questions from the beneficiary, apply or demonstrate the application of the testing equipment to the beneficiary, or otherwise participate in the conduct of the test.
- The test unit is sealed and tamper-proof such that test results cannot be accessed by anyone other than the IDTF that is responsible for transmitting a test report to the treating physician. The DME supplier may use related technology to download test results from the testing unit and transmit those results to the IDTF. In no cases may the DME supplier access or manipulate the test results in any form.
The IDTF must send the test results to the physician. The IDTF may send the test results to the supplier if the supplier is currently providing, or has an order to provide, oxygen or other respiratory services to the beneficiary—or if the beneficiary has signed a release permitting the supplier to receive the report.
***Oximetry test results obtained through a similar process while the beneficiary is awake, either at rest or with exercise, may not be used for purposes of qualifying the beneficiary for home oxygen therapy.