Sam Giordano, MBA, RRT, FAARC, Chair of the U.S. COPD Coalition (USCC), has issued an official statement on behalf of the USCC Board of Directors in response to the recent release of the Randomized Trial of Long- Term Oxygen for COPD with Moderate Desaturation study:
Impact of the Most Recent Lott Study(Randomized Trial of Long- Term Oxygen for COPD with Moderate Desaturation)
“Patients with severe oxygen desaturation are currently treated with supplemental oxygen but those with moderate oxygen desaturation are not similarly treated. In the October 2016 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine the most recent study regarding Long Term Oxygen Therapy (LOTT) was published. The results reported indicate that COPD patients with moderate desaturation who used supplemental oxygen did not experience a prolongation of life or any other clinical benefit. However, symptomatic hypoxia was improved with use of oxygen.
Many in our community were concerned that CMS would use this study to change qualification criteria for supplemental oxygen. The USCC wants to take this opportunity to reassure those concerned that CMS has stated that this study would not result in a change in their current policy for the provision of oxygen to patients with severe oxygen desaturation. Considerations for policy change will be based on more than one study result. CMS continues to support the consideration of supplemental oxygen in patients that present to their attending physicians with severe oxygen desaturation when deemed medically necessary by their physician. This represents no change in policy and should set your mind at ease. We will endeavor to keep you updated regarding any changes in Federal CMS or insurors policies or practices, as we are made aware of them.”