Virtual Lobby Week

Take Action - Support Respiratory Therapists Going to Washington, DC

The 2 things we are asking for

  1. Request: Co-Sponsor of HR 1406

We need permanent telehealth virtual pulmonary rehabilitation for Medicare beneficiaries.

During the COVID public health emergency respiratory therapists were allowed to furnish cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation services to patients in their homes as virtual services by physicians or practitioners from the outpatient setting. Without additional authority from Congress, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has no flexibility to permit permanent continuation of virtual cardiac and pulmonary rehab services to Medicare beneficiaries in their homes.

To solve this problem Representatives John Joyce (R-PA) and Scott Peters (D-CA) introduced legislation called “the Sustainable Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Services in the Home Act (H.R. 1406)”, which would permanently allow patients to receive in-home cardiac and pulmonary rehab services under Medicare. Respiratory Therapists are not specifically recognized in this legislation and would be billed “incident to” physicians.

Virtual delivery of services has provided an avenue for improved patient adherence, earlier intervention, and removal of barriers such as distance and transportation, especially in rural and underserved areas.

  1. Support Medicare Oxygen Payment Reform – Support a legislative fix

Senator Cassidy (R-LA) has made a commitment to introduce legislation aimed at helping to fix the problems created by the Medicare Competitive Bidding Program. The AARC has been working with a comprehensive coalition of oxygen stakeholders that includes, providers, patients, and the durable medical equipment industry. We have met with CMS to ask for oxygen reform through regulatory change. And CMS has indicated that the solution must come from Congress.

Of great importance to the respiratory care profession the third pillar of legislative reform will establish a service benefit to pay respiratory therapists to see home oxygen patients which has never existed before under the durable medical equipment benefit.

Our coalition has based legislative reform on 4 Pillars 1. Ensure supplemental oxygen is patient-centric 2. Ensure access to liquid oxygen for patients for whom it is medically necessary 3. Create a statutory service element to provide adequate reimbursement for respiratory therapists to ensure patients have access to their expertise 4. To ensure predictable and adequate reimbursement and to protect against fraud and abuse, establish national standardized documentation requirements that rely upon a template rather than prescriber medical records to support claims for supplemental oxygen suppliers.

Organizations In Support Allergy & Asthma Network Alpha-1 Foundation American Association for Respiratory Care American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation American College of Chest Physicians American Lung Association American Physical Therapy Association American Thoracic Society California Society for Pulmonary Rehabilitation COPD Foundation The Council for Quality Respiratory Care Dorney-Koppel Foundation Hawaii COPD Coalition Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association The LAM Foundation NTM Info & Research PCD Foundation Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Pulmonary Hypertension Association Respiratory Health Association Running On Air Scleroderma Foundation of California TSC Alliance USCOPD Coalition


    Dear Office Holder (names will be automatically added on each email),


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