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Reasonable Useful Lifetime Policies for Oxygen and Oxygen Equipment

This article addresses situations in which the beneficiary has both portable and stationary oxygen equipment and the RUL for one piece of equipment expires before the RUL for the other piece of equipment has been reached. The RUL policies outlined below apply to oxygen and oxygen equipment furnished to Medicare beneficiaries in general and are not restricted to oxygen and oxygen equipment furnished to beneficiaries residing in competitive bidding areas.

The following rules apply in situations where the beneficiary is using both stationary and portable oxygen equipment with different RUL end dates.

  1. When the RUL of a beneficiary’s portable oxygen equipment differs from the RUL of the beneficiary’s stationary oxygen equipment, the RUL of the stationary oxygen equipment shall govern the application of RUL-based rules and processes for both types, stationary and portable, oxygen equipment.
  2. Until such time as the end date of the RUL of the stationary oxygen equipment is reached, the supplier must continue to furnish both the portable and stationary oxygen equipment.
    1. If the end date of the RUL of the portable oxygen equipment precedes the end date of the RUL of the stationary oxygen equipment, the end date of the RUL of the portable oxygen equipment is adjusted (extended) to coincide with the end date of the RUL of the stationary oxygen equipment.
    2. If the end date of the RUL of the portable oxygen equipment follows the end date of the RUL of the stationary oxygen equipment, the end date of the RUL of the portable oxygen equipment is adjusted (shortened) to coincide with the end date of the RUL of the stationary oxygen equipment.
  3. When the end date of the RUL of the stationary oxygen equipment occurs, the beneficiary may elect to obtain replacement of both the stationary and the portable oxygen equipment.
  4. If the beneficiary elects to obtain replacement of the stationary and the portable oxygen equipment, both types of oxygen equipment must be replaced at the same time.
  5. When the stationary and the portable oxygen equipment are replaced, a new 36-month rental period and new RUL is started for both the replacement stationary oxygen equipment and the replacement portable oxygen equipment.
  6. Beginning 1/1/2011, a beneficiary who resides in a DMEPOS CBA may obtain replacement of both the stationary and portable oxygen systems only from a contract supplier having a competitive bidding contract for the CBA in which the beneficiary permanently resides.
  7. A grandfathered supplier for oxygen and other grandfathered equipment as of 1/1/2011, who has continued to furnish such equipment that has not yet reached the 36-month rental cap, does not qualify to furnish replacement equipment once the end date of the RUL of the stationary equipment is reached, if the beneficiary resides in the CBA when the end of the RUL has been reached unless the status of the grandfathered supplier has changed to a contract supplier for the current round of the competitive bidding program.

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