The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced the publication of the results from the seven year effort to assess the efficacy of oxygen treatment in COPD patients with moderately low levels of blood oxygen saturation, between 89-93 percent at rest and below 90 percent with activity.
The study found that on average, the patients who were prescribed oxygen treatment received no additional benefit to survival, hospitalizations, worsening symptoms or to quality of life.
We will be sure to include a discussion about the study and any potential impact on oxygen prescribing and oxygen coverage as part of its next Virtual Member Meeting to be held in December. It is important to stress that the study measured a group effect and individual responses to oxygen vary. Individuals with COPD should consult with their healthcare providers about the appropriate use of oxygen and no coverage changes are expected in the immediate future.