LifeGas, the US medical gases business of The Linde Group, has become one of the first gases and equipment suppliers to receive accreditation as a home oxygen subcontractor.

LifeGas was one of the first medical gases companies to deliver oxygen directly to patients’ homes on behalf of homecare providers.

The accreditation enables LifeGas to instruct patients on the safe and effective use of the oxygen and equipment it delivers.

“LifeGas believes the Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act, which sets guidelines for the use of subcontractors, seeks to ensure that patients get high quality products and services from accredited subcontractors, so that everyone who enters the patient’s home is following the same supplier standards,” said Anthony Eafrati, Homecare Market Manager at LifeGas.

“This voluntary accreditation recognises LifeGas’ ongoing commitment to providing excellent patient care. Our decision to invest in accreditation was a natural progression for LifeGas and another example of our commitment to our homecare customers and their patients,” Eafrati added.

Jeffrey S. Baird, a lawyer with Brown and Fortunato, which specialises in healthcare regulatory and accreditation issues commented, “The competitive bidding implementation contractor has made it clear that any subcontractor who provides equipment setup and patient instruction on behalf of a competitive bid contract winner must be accredited.$quot;

$quot;Suppliers that use non-accredited subcontractors to provide these services are putting their participation in the competitive bidding programme at risk. The Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) also may attempt to impose these same restrictions on subcontract arrangements outside of competitive bidding.”

LifeGas received the Award of Accreditation from the Healthcare Quality Association on Accreditation (HQAA).

The three-year accreditation award recognises that LifeGas has completed a comprehensive application focusing on patient care, financial stability and a commitment to quality operational practices.