SeQual Technologies Inc, San Diego, announced today that health providers nationwide will now be reimbursed by Medicare for the portable portion of their use of SeQual’s Eclipse Oxygen System. Prior to the decision by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), providers could only bill Medicare for the Eclipse’s use as a stationary concentrator.
“This will be a boon to oxygen patients everywhere and a savings to the health care system,” said Vernon Pertelle, senior director/assistant vice president for Occupational Health & Wellness, Rehab Services and Home Care for the Tri-City Hospital District. “The Eclipse gives patients new freedom and I’m glad that CMS has recognized its full capabilities and will now allow reimbursement for portable use.”

SeQual’s Eclipse is the only portable concentrator on the market that provides continuous flow of up to 3 liters of oxygen per minute. Other portable concentrators offer only pulse flow, leaving many patients without a solution for their continuous flow and nocturnal needs.

“Over 1 million oxygen patients in the U.S. need continuous flow,” noted Jim Bixby, SeQual’s CEO. “We emphasized this to CMS: that by allowing providers to bill the Eclipse as a single device meeting both stationary and portable needs, many additional patients would gain access to a device that can literally change their lives.”

Developed over 5 years at a cost of $12 million, the Eclipse was designed for mobility. The device weighs 17 pounds, has a retractable handle and rugged wheels, and is about the size of a student’s backpack. It fits easily under standard airplane seats and was approved last month by the Federal Aviation Administration for use aboard commercial airplanes.

The decision by CMS to allow the Eclipse to be billed under the E1392 code means providers can now be reimbursed by Medicare for the Eclipse under both section E1390 (for stationary concentrators) and section E1392 (for portable concentrators).

“The bottom line is that this ruling makes it easier for providers to offer the Eclipse as a single-device solution to their patients,” said Bixby. “Now, even more patients and providers can be free of oxygen cylinders, refill worries and heavy stationary concentrators.”