FAQ 1. Does Medicare cover the cost of SCOOP catheters and supplies? Yes! SCOOP transtracheal oxygen products are a covered CMS (Medicare) benefit under federal home oxygen therapy rules (» ICN 908804). Accessories, including but not limited to, transtracheal catheters (A4608), cannulas (A4615), and tubing (A4616) necessary for the delivery of oxygen are covered in the allowance for rented oxygen equipment, and the oxygen supplier is obligated to provide these supplies as ordered by the physician. The HCPCS codes for these items are listed in the Medicare 19 June 2018 Home Oxygen Therapy Order (» Draft Template v4.2) and specifically include "A4608 Transtracheal Catheter, Each" immediately before "A4615 Cannula, Nasal" under the Means of Oxygen Delivery and Accessories section. The physician can facilitate the timely replacement of transtracheal oxygen catheters and supplies by providing the oxygen supplier with a detailed written order using the » SCOOP Rx Template.
FAQ 2. How often should SCOOP supplies be discarded and replaced with new product? Two SCOOP catheters and one SCOOP hose should be replaced every 90 days. This replacement cycle is listed with the FDA for safe and effective use of the product. The product is intended to last three months however, earlier replacement many be needed on an individual case basis.
FAQ 3. What should I do if my home care supplier doesn't provide replacement SCOOP catheters every three months? Contact Customer Service at (303) 790-4766. Be prepared to provide your name, address, date of birth, doctor's name and the home oxygen provider. We will work with your home oxygen provider, your doctor, Medicare and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure your SCOOP products are delivered as prescribed by your doctor and in compliance with the FDA. If you need to file a complaint about your oxygen supplier, here's how (» file a complaint).
FAQ 4. Can I use pulse oxygen delivered by my portable oxygen concentrator, liquid or compressed gas unit with my SCOOP transtracheal oxygen? YES! The pressure signal with a SCOOP transtracheal catheter is stronger and clearer than the signal with nasal prongs, so pulse systems cycle more reliably with transtracheal oxygen. On an average, transtracheal patients use about half the flow rate that they used when on nasal prongs, and further reductions can be expected with pulse transtracheal delivery. These combined reductions allow portable oxygen sources to last longer and/or be lighter. We believe that pulse delivery and transtracheal oxygen are a perfect marriage of oxygen conserving technologies (see Pulse Transtracheal Oxygen abstract under References).
FAQ 5. How do I find a doctor to perform the procedure? Start by asking your primary health care provider. Doctors doing the procedure include pulmonologists, interventional pulmonologists, and ENT/Head & Neck surgeons. If your doctor isn’t able to advise you about your transtracheal oxygen therapy option, call Customer Service at (303) 790-4766. Medicare and private insurance usually cover the cost of the procedure.
FAQ 6. When should I consider giving up my nasal cannula and going on to transtracheal oxygen? Discuss this issue with your doctor, and either of you may call Customer Service at (303) 790-4766 for literature, videos and other information. If you need supplemental oxygen, ensuring adequate oxygen levels 24-hours per day will enhance your health, reduce the chances of being hospitalized and prolong your life. Most patients who use nasal prongs remove them for various reasons including short walks, discomfort and cosmetic concerns, and they also fall off during sleep. The average patient on nasal prongs probably gets supplemental oxygen for about half the day meaning that they have low blood oxygen much of the time. Damage to your health can result and accumulates over time leading to progression of weakness, more frequent doctor visits and hospitalizations, and premature death. Transtracheal oxygen patients typically get supplemental oxygen 24-hours a day so they stay healthier and live longer. We support the accepted belief that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
FAQ 7. Am I a good candidate for transtracheal oxygen? The very best candidate for transtracheal oxygen is still active and relatively early in the progression of his or her lung disease. In general, if you have used oxygen for six months or more, you may consider transtracheal oxygen. During this time you get to know what it is like to use oxygen through your nose and work with your health providers to stabilize lung and other medical conditions. Few are able to use nasal oxygen 24-hours per day and are at risk of the health consequences of low oxygen levels. Waiting until you get sicker or to lower nasal flow rates approaching the upper limits of nasal prongs usually means that you could miss the health benefits of transtracheal oxygen with true 24-hour per day compliance.
FAQ 8. What if my health improves and I don't need supplemental oxygen any longer? Some patients have hopes that someday they will be able to get off nasal prongs, and they delay making a commitment to go on transtracheal oxygen. Remember, transtracheal oxygen is easily reversible so don’t miss out on near-term and long-term benefits of better oxygenation.
FAQ 9. I have been told I have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) along with my COPD. How does a transtracheal oxygen catheter function with both problems? This condition is termed "Overlap Syndrome". Both OSA and COPD can contribute to significant health problems, but when combined, their negative effects are compounded. Transtracheal oxygen therapy has special opportunities for patients with overlap syndrome. Not only is it better at providing oxygenation 24-hours a day for COPD, it can help the sleep apnea component in two ways. First, the oxygen is delivered below the obstruction in the throat, so oxygen levels are better. Second, the flow of oxygen creates pressure below the blockage and can help open it. Some transtracheal patients with overlap syndrome are able to discontinue using nasal CPAP.
FAQ 10. Can I expect to be healthier because of transtracheal oxygen?
Every patient is different, but when looking at groups of patients who have COPD on long-term oxygen, a powerful story can be told. Transtracheal oxygen users, compared to their matched patients using nasal oxygen, are healthier and live longer. They are hospitalized less frequently than nasal oxygen users and their cost per month of survival is also less. Why? Oxygen is a vital substance needed by every living cell in your body. Without adequate oxygen in the blood, even for short periods of time, cells get sick and may even die. Every organ can be negatively affected by chronic or even intermittent low oxygen levels common with nasal cannula delivery. Transtracheal oxygen users have the best opportunity to keep oxygen levels as normal as possible and without interruption. "Oxygen is good!"