Opinion: Outdated Medicare rules threaten older Americans’ access to home medical equipment

Pandemic-related breaks in global supply chains for drugs and essential medical supplies are affecting the more than 4.5 million people who receive health care at home and the companies they count on to provide and service their oxygen machines, wheelchairs, hospital-style beds, prosthetic devices, and other durable home medical equipment.

Compounding the crisis are federal rules that have long underpaid companies providing home medical equipment and that are now forcing them to swallow the pandemic-related cost increases they’re facing. If those rules don’t change, countless people could lose access to home care.

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