Search Menu

Are you having trouble accessing quality home medical equipment and services? Call us at: 800-404-8702

Medicare Cuts Take My Breath Away

Home Blog Medicare Cuts Take My Breath Away

As previously reported at People for Quality Care, Medicare has been cutting funding for essential home medical equipment to dangerously low rates that make it harder for people with Medicare to get items like walkers, wheelchairs, oxygen therapy, CPAPs & supplies, and more.

For people who rely on home oxygen therapy, the situation has gotten even worse.

On January 1, 2017, Medicare further slashed funding for vital home oxygen therapy for Medicare patients who rely on stationary oxygen concentrators.  Rural and remote areas across the country are suffering the most and either having trouble finding a company who will serve them or are being asked to pay higher out of pocket costs to personally cover the difference to offset Medicare’s underfunded reimbursement.

We’re already hearing reports of companies on the brink of closure, operating in the red without adequate payment for caring for this vulnerable population.  Where will their patients go to continue receiving this life-sustaining equipment?

Medicare patients who can still find companies to serve them are facing higher out-of-pocket expenses, as the patient is now having to pay the difference in the cost of the equipment and the low government allowable.  Not only can many oxygen patients not afford to do this on fixed incomes, they shouldn’t have to!  The Medicare system is failing the very people it’s designed to protect.

Join us in fighting for our nation’s sickest and most vulnerable population to get continued access to home oxygen therapy!

Call our Complaint Hotline (800-404-8702) and share your experience if you’re having a hard time finding a company to provide home oxygen therapy and/or you are being asked to pay out of pocket to receive it.


  • Susan M. Clarke | Jun 23rd 2017 @ 9:25 AM

    A little over a year ago, my husband died from an insipid disease called emphysema. Most people never see the victims of this disease because they are hidden away in their homes or in nursing homes attached to a supplemental oxygen supply just to breathe - something the rest of us take for granted. They are ashamed and embarrassed because society assumes they inflicted this on themselves. Even a visit to the pulmonologists office prompts the question - did you smoke? During the last several months of his life, Stan was prescribed 7 lpm of liquid oxygen by his doctor. Hospice assisted us during the last 5 weeks of his life and could not have provided this therapy if it had not already been in place. When Lincare (a nationwide company) removed the oxygen tanks the day after his death, I was told no one else would receive this intensive therapy because of the cuts in Medicare reimbursement. Stan would have faced a more frightening and quicker death without the oxygen he needed. We could have afforded to pay for the "extra" service, but because of the competitive bidding process suppliers cannot permit this. The cost of caring for patients with fatal diseases in nursing homes is not only less dignified but also more costly. Obamacare "funding" is being provided by cutting Medicare to supplement others who are forced to buy health insurance. This defies logic to any intelligent person, but most people are not aware of this - including many representing us in Congress. Why is it that people who are ill and suffering from the effects of these cuts do not have a voice? Understanding what this disease does leaves a lasting impression, but we have no famous "example" to place before the public - such as Reagan in the case of Alzheimer's disease. We need an advocate for people who suffer from emphysema and other lung diseases which require oxygen therapy!

  • James P Condran | May 23rd 2017 @ 2:32 PM

    I have oxygen concentrater at home and bottles for travel. With the new Medicare cuts, Lincare will only deliver here in Bedford, VA. On Wednesday or Thursday. I have been out of bottle oxygen for five days now. I am waiting for a delivery now. I would like to replace the bottles, with a portable concentrator. But they say I am in a five year contract between Linares and Medicare, and can not change a cheaper alternative!

  • Lori Bondi | May 11th 2017 @ 5:32 PM

    Medicare is a joke. I want everyone to be warned never to sign up for Medicare. They drop you like a hot potato when you need them the most. They don't cover anything no matter what part Medicare you have. They have no problem taking your money every month, though. Everyone is better off going with a private insurance. Even if it costs more, it's worth it to have piece of mind. Medicare took away my piece of mind.

  • Joe Anderson | Mar 27th 2017 @ 8:40 PM

    The first that I new about a change was when I came home and found a shipping box on my front porch. When called the company they said that the portable oxygen concentrator is no longer covered by insurance. Of course that makes it almost impossible to drive my disabled wife anywhere. After many hours on the phone I found that my only course was to buy a portable for $2100 plus. This was more money than I have but fortunately I was able to get a family member who could help. Then today after shipping the portable back I received an invoice for $5000 plus for the equipment again with no further explaination. What can we do about this miscarriage of justice?

  • Liberty | Feb 27th 2017 @ 11:39 AM

    You've got to be kidding? This is seriously on the verge of assisted murder/suicide. Strong words yes, but we have paid into Medicare and for the security and safety of our lives. We sit/stand behind dozens of kids in a line all on EBT because a lazy mom/Dad but we cannot or are not allowed basic medical needs. It is beyond rediculous and callous. My choice words cannot be published but I dare someone in our political system who decided all of this ever have the need, ever suffer or ever have the heart to know what this is like. I hope they can live with the guilt of this genocide as every cut is leading to that definition!!

  • Cindy | Feb 25th 2017 @ 9:01 AM

    The decline in reimbursement has deteriorated our ability to provide clinical expertise and support to our COPD patients. DME is back to being just "equipment jockeys" though many of us have solid knowledge to help these patients manage their disease process and reduce hospital readmissions. It is a true disservice to this patient population!

  • Liberty | Feb 22nd 2017 @ 6:18 PM

    You've got to be kidding? This is seriously on the verge of assisted murder/suicide. Strong words yes, but we have paid into Medicare and for the security and safety of our lives. We sit/stand behind dozens of kids in a line all on EBT because a lazy mom/Dad but we cannot or are not allowed basic medical needs. It is beyond rediculous and callous. My choice words cannot be published but I dare someone in our political system who decided all of this ever have the need, ever suffer or ever have the heart to know what this is like. I hope they can live with the guilt of this genocide as every cut is leading to that definition!!

  • Sharon Kelly | Feb 22nd 2017 @ 5:20 PM

    I would die without Oxygen as I have Pulmonary Fibrosis. I use Oxygen 24/7.

  • Mary S Mooney | Feb 22nd 2017 @ 4:58 PM

    I am trying to forward this to staff in my Home Health Agency but they are unable to open the link I received from you. Can you send me a link that I can forward. Thanks Mary S Mooney PT,DPT

  • Dee herrmann | Feb 22nd 2017 @ 2:53 PM

    That is terrible. I am on Medicare now and SS. It most definitely cuts your income. I have to use out of my pension to have money for food and gas. Even with that my yearly income is more than half of what it was. I am fortunate so for to not have that problem bug you never know. I hope mr trump gets things fixed right.

  • Sylvia Roberts | Feb 22nd 2017 @ 2:00 PM

    Patients are go to suffer, they will be stuck at home. DME's can not afford to give them portable tanks at this rate. They will not have any service. Patients will end up in Hospital emergency rooms and have to be admitted which will cost 50 times the amount that Home Oxygen would cost. Someone needs to listen!

  • Rickey Foster | Feb 22nd 2017 @ 9:09 AM

    This is a travesty. The government has already taken this money from people who have worked all there lives and paid into Medicare and Social Security. I don't understand why we are punishing the people that worked and did the right thing but then turn around and give money and free health care to people who have never worked and paid in anything. This must stop and if the government isn't going to help us then why do we have to keep paying them. Take their pay or there benefits and lets see how much attention we can get from them then. I also work in the health field and these cuts are killing our company and it makes it so hard to take care of our patients.

  • Susan M. Clarke | Feb 22nd 2017 @ 8:42 AM

    Until my husband died last April, 2016 he had been dependent on liquid oxygen for the prior 3 years. His emphysema had progressed even though we paid for LVRS surgery in 2000 since Medicare would not. When Lincare removed their equipment they said no new patients would be given the equipment he had - they could no longer afford to do so since Medicare's reimbursement was now being reduced. He would have died and suffered a very painful death without this in home support. He wanted to die at home, as many people do, but would not have had that choice today. Are we determined to shorten the lives of the ill or subject them to institutions (i.e. nursing homes)? This is regressive attitude for the most powerful nation in the world! Thanks to ObamaCare we are providing subsidies to some while cutting back on care to the elderly and disabled who are dependent on Medicare.

  • sue wentzel | Feb 21st 2017 @ 11:26 PM

    So far, this has not happened to me, but 2017 is young with plenty of room for change. My complaint is with the defective equipment my provider gives me to use. The home concentrators fail and the regulators for my tanks fail. Always without warning. Medicare does not want to hear about this and refuses to take any complaint saying, "the provider is replacing your equipment, so you cannot complain." Yes, they are replacing it with more defective equipment. The defective equipment is costing Medicare more money, but Medicare does not want to hear that. My provider, Lincare, is Medicare approved and does not care about service at all. I am a small fish in a large sea of many more fish.

  • Susan Wise | Feb 21st 2017 @ 3:38 PM

    This is a disgrace. I am ashamed of the people making these decisions. What an outrage. Whoever made this decision needs to be hung drawn and quartered. So to speak - loose their job. And hopefully they will ever know the pain of struggling for breath. President Trump please get on top of this and the meds issue no one should have to pay $850 a month for one prescription or all of them for that matter it's Hwy robbery.

  • Sharon Kelly | Feb 19th 2017 @ 3:58 PM

    So far I haven't been contacted about any change in my medicare paying for oxygen. I would die if I didn't have oxygen. I'm on oxygen 24/7 now. I have Pulmonary Fibrosis. I get my Oxygen from Inogen. I have a concentrator and portable oxygen.

  • Martine Cantler | Feb 19th 2017 @ 3:13 PM

    I think a petition to our representatives would be the most effective action.

  • David chesnut | Feb 18th 2017 @ 6:23 PM

    Is this Medicares version of killing off us senior citizens so as they can balance their budget on the backs of tax paying senior citizens or is their way of protecting the big lobbying groups that line their pockets, the drug manufacturers- the hospitals- the doctors.

  • Charles W Waters | Feb 17th 2017 @ 5:55 PM

    Only one company for Anderson County, SC and they are not equipped to see very many patients. It took 5 months to ever see the therapist. Told I needed C-Pap supplies several months ago, finally ordered supplies, which I have not received. Most unhappy with our Medicare which is still being cut and money used for others. Why can't someone speak for us?

  • Kim Brown | Feb 17th 2017 @ 4:48 PM

    my mother is on Medicare and is using oxygen 24 hours a day. Since she is on a fixed income she cannot afford to pay any out of pockets. SO what does this mean to our seniors. Just stop breathing?

  • Anonymous | Feb 17th 2017 @ 3:40 PM

    I am not currently using oxygen but I have previously and could very well need to use it again and am concerned about the out of pocket costs I may face if it should be necessary to resume using oxygen. We are on a fixed income from Social Security and it doesn't seem to increase enough to cover the out of pocket expenses my wife and I incur with our increasing medical issues as we get older. I fail to see the reasoning of some of our decision makers wanting to bring others into our country, that have no means of support, yet reduce our benefits because they have to fund taking care of those who have not paid into the system. The same logic applies to those who are in our country illegally.

  • Pamela Stark | Feb 17th 2017 @ 2:59 PM

    I have O2 from lincare liquid 02, 7/24, please don't stop it,

  • Amy | Feb 17th 2017 @ 2:42 PM

    I work for a home medical equipment provider, and we are spiraling down as reimbursements continue to decline. We have weekly meetings trying to decide what to cut next, and if there is no relief soon, it doesn't look good for our company. We're at the end of our resources.

  • Beth Yantek | Feb 17th 2017 @ 2:26 PM

    If home oxygen isn't available then people will end up in skilled care facilities. That sounds like a good way to save money!

View All
Back to Top
Take Action Now