The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report entitled "Medicare Home Oxygen: Refining Payment Methodology Has Potential to Lower Program and Beneficiary Spending." The report compares Medicare oxygen reimbursement to that of eight private insurers and the Veterans Administration (VA). If Medicare payment was based on the methodologies of the lowest-paying private insurer, Medicare could have saved about $670 million of the estimated $2.15 billion it spent on home oxygen in 2009. Using the VA’s payment method could have saved $410 million to $810 million. Likewise, basing Medicare rates on CMS’s 2011 competitive bidding rates could have saved $700 million. With regard to beneficiary access to equipment, the majority of home oxygen suppliers interviewed said they were reluctant to or would not accept new beneficiaries who were approaching the 36-month cap on rental payments for home oxygen equipment. While CMS states that it has ensured all beneficiaries who relocated found suppliers, if access becomes a problem in the future; CMS may consider requiring the supplier that provides home oxygen for month 18 or later to provide oxygen for the remainder of the rental period or make arrangements with another supplier to do so. The GAO recommends that Congress consider reducing home oxygen payment rates, and that CMS restructure oxygen payments. HHS agreed that payments for home oxygen are “excessive,” but disagreed with the specific recommendation because it would not yield immediate savings.