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Long-Term Trends in Home Respiratory Medical Equipment among U.S. Medicare Patients, 2013-2019

Duan KI, Wong ES, Liao JM, Sabbatini AK, Au DH


  • A Medicare pricing policy (Competitive Bidding Program) seeks to lower costs associated with home respiratory equipment, like home oxygen
  • Little data exist on home respiratory medical equipment use in the years since the Competitive Bidding Program started
  • For certain equipment, the number of suppliers providing this equipment and the number of beneficiaries using this equipment has decreased

Home respiratory medical equipment, such as home oxygen or continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), is used by many patients with chronic respiratory diseases. A new Medicare pricing policy, called the Competitive Bidding Program (CBP), was instituted in the 2010's to reduce spending on medical equipment. However, it is unknown whether the new CBP affected patient access to equipment. This study used publicly available Medicare data to evaluate the long-term trends of home respiratory equipment during the years the CBP was in effect. The main finding is that for certain types of respiratory equipment, such as oxygen cylinders and oxygen concentrators, the number of companies supplying this equipment decreased over time. Similarly, the percentage of Medicare beneficiaries using this equipment also decreased over time. The findings of the study suggest that the CBP may be affecting patient access. However, additional work is needed to determine if patient oxygen is indeed being affected, and furthermore, whether any access issues are having an impact on clinical outcomes.



Contact: Susan Brandzel
CATALyST Program Administrator