Choosing Wisely:

For patients recently discharged on supplemental home oxygen following hospitalization for an acute illness, don’t renew the prescription without assessing the patient for ongoing hypoxemia.

Rationale and Comments: Hypoxemia often resolves after recovery from an acute illness, and continued prescription of supplemental oxygen therapy incurs unnecessary cost and resource use. At the time that supplemental oxygen is initially prescribed, a plan should be established to re-assess the patient no later than 90 days after discharge. Medicare and evidence-based criteria should be followed to determine whether the patient meets criteria for supplemental oxygen.
Sponsoring Organizations:
  • American College of Chest Physicians/American Thoracic Society
  • Sources:
  • Expert consensus
  • Disciplines:
  • Pulmonary medicine
  • References: • Croxton T, Baily W, for the NHLBI working group on Long-Term Oxygen Treatment in COPD. Report of a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Workshop. Long-term oxygen treatment in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: recommendations for future research. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2006;174:373-8.
    • O’Driscoll B, Howard L, Davison A. BTS guideline for emergency oxygen use in adult patients. Thorax. 2008;63 Suppl 6:vi1-68. MacNee W. Prescription of oxygen: still problems after all these years. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2005;172:517-22.

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