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April 1992

Prescribing Home Oxygen Therapy: What the Primary Care Physician Needs to Know

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Medicine Division, Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, Neb.

Arch Intern Med. 1992;152(4):746-748. doi:10.1001/archinte.1992.00400160058011

Physicians who prescribe home oxygen therapy often find it difficult and time-consuming to complete the required certification of medical necessity because of a lack of in-depth knowledge concerning the Medicare requirements and treatment options. The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) now mandates that the physician or an employee of the physician complete the form to certify medical necessity (form HCFA-484); otherwise, the home oxygen supplier cannot be reimbursed for equipment and service. Since long-term oxygen therapy is essential to increase survival and to improve the quality of life for patients with hypoxemia due to chronic pulmonary disease, it is imperative that the primary care physician understand the indications and requirements for therapy and be able to order the most appropriate equipment for the therapeutic needs. This article is intended to provide the physician with the information needed to properly prescribe home oxygen therapy.

(Arch Intern Med. 1992;152:746-748)