The National Home Oxygen Patient's Association was established in the late 1990s, devoted exclusively to improving the lives of people across the country who require supplementary oxygen on a regular basis. A prestigious group of physicians and allied health professionals, providers, and manufacturers formed the association when they recognized that despite their own efforts to speak on behalf of their patients and customers, oxygen patients truly needed their own organization.
The association's goals focus on four broad areas:
- Education: The Association serves as a clearinghouse of information regarding supplementary oxygen. This includes information regarding day-to-day care, traveling with oxygen, new technologies, current research as well as general information for our user members. An updated handbook entitled, "Understanding Oxygen Therapy," was released in January 2013 and is now available to all members by clicking on the following link: Understanding Oxygen Therapy.
- Grass Roots Activism: The Association will, when appropriate, call on its members to contact state and federal policymakers to provide valuable consumer input into the development of health policies that affect patients who require supplementary oxygen. Anticipated, ongoing, and current issues include payment and coverage for home oxygen services, easing restrictions associated with air travel, and funding for continued research associated with home oxygen therapy.
- Ombudsman: The Association recognizes that frequently patients have a difficult time communicating with their physician, Medicare, and their provider regarding their care. While the Association's budget precludes intervention on individual matters, the Association will serve as ombudsman when members identify recurring problems related to their care.
- Research: The Association conducts member surveys related to oxygen therapy, patient access and utilization data. NHOPA supports clinical research that addresses improved health and quality of life, including new technologies as they become available.
The Association is managed by a Board of Directors. The majority of Board members are individuals receiving supplementary oxygen. The oxygen user Directors are elected by the membership to serve three year terms. These Directors appoint additional non-voting members to the Board who represent the communities of pulmonary medicine and industry. The appointed Board positions are one year terms and include two physicians, one allied health professional, two oxygen equipment manufacturers, and two oxygen suppliers.
The oxygen user members of the Board also elect an Executive Committee to oversee the day-to-day operations of the Association. The Executive Committee meets every other month, alternating with meetings of the full Board of Directors. These meetings are usually one hour in length, via teleconference.
Voting Membership is limited to oxygen users or a member of their immediate family.
Membership is open to anyone who supports the goals of the Association. Categories of membership include oxygen users, health professionals in the field of oxygen therapy, corporations, and individuals who support the Association goals.