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Congratulations WAMES! Wisconsin passes Oxygen Licensure

Governor Scott Walker (seated) signs into law 2015 Senate Bill 13. Working together to help pass this oxygen license were (from left), Jean McAdams, WAMES Board Member and former owner, Community HME; Donna Smith, WAMES Board Member and Home Care Medical Director of Respiratory; Jim Spellman, WAMES President and Home Care Medical Director of Operations; Rick Adamich, WAMES Board Member and Oxygen One President; Senator Paul Farrow; and Scott Rausch, Chief of Staff at Wisconsin State Senate, Senator Paul Farrow.
WILD ROSE, WISCONSIN – March 23, 2015 – Wisconsin Association of Medical Equipment Services (WAMES) is pleased to announce Governor Scott Walker signed into law today 2015 Senate Bill 13. The Bill is an Act to amend 450.03 (1) (e), 450.08 (2) (b) and 450.11 (3); and to create 2440.08 (2) (a) 38h. and 450.076 of the statutes; relating to: licensure of home medical oxygen providers, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures and granting rule-making authority.

Under previous law, oxygen intended for medical use was a prescription drug that may generally be dispensed to a patient only by a pharmacist licensed by the Pharmacy Examining Board (board) or by a physician or other authorized practitioner.

Senate Bill 13 establishes a licensure program to be administered by the board for persons that dispense medical oxygen directly to patients. Under the bill, such a person, if licensed by the board, is exempt from pharmacist licensing requirements for activities that fall within the scope of the license. Also, subject to certain exceptions, any person that provides home medical oxygen directly to patients must be licensed by the board.

The bill requires the board to grant a home medical oxygen provider license to a person applying for the license that pays the applicable initial licensure fee and meets any other requirements established by the board by rule. Senate Bill 13 also requires the board to adopt rules implementing the bill’s provisions, including rules governing the professional conduct of licensed home medical oxygen providers and their employees and agents. The bill also authorizes emergency rule making.

Introduced by Senators Farrow, Moulton, Gudex, Harris Dodd and LeMahieu, cosponsored by Representatives Kooyenga, Rohrkaste, Kulp, Spiros and Murphy, the effective date of the statues takes effect on May 1, 2015.

“On behalf of our WAMES members in the state of Wisconsin, we are thrilled with the signing of 2015 Senate Bill 13,” explains Jim Spellman, WAMES President and Home Care Medical Director of Operations. “This is a big step for the Home Medical Equipment industry and ensures that all providers in the state are compliant with the new oxygen bill provisions.”

WAMES has been working strenuously with their legislators to pass this bill. Congratulations!