In a letter sent to the acting administrator of CMS on Tuesday, AARC President Frank Salvatore, MBA, RRT, FAARC, reiterates that AARC supports the RT role in teleheath. He offered the Association’s final comments regarding implementation of Medicare’s Merit-based Incentive Payment System, including incentive payments for those who participate in eligible Alternative Payment Models (APMs).
Salvatore specifically zeroed in on the need for a waiver that would open the door to greater coverage of telehealth services via the APMs. He advocated for lifting the restrictions on the type of practitioners who can furnish telehealth services, including remote patient monitoring, as well, and supported the expansion of practitioner types to include respiratory therapists.
Salvatore supported his arguments with an overview of the potential ways telehealth and remote patient monitoring could benefit patients with chronic respiratory conditions and why the respiratory therapist is the right practitioner to provide these services. A bullet-point list of recent studies that found positive results for the use of telehealth and respiratory therapists in the care of these patients helped drive home the point.
“With the increased incentives afforded those who participate in APMs under the new Medicare payment system, the time has come to recognize the RTs’ skills and the impact they can make on the health outcomes and lives of their patients,” wrote AARC President.
AARC also signed on to joint comments supporting the expansion of telehealth services that was sent to CMS by a coalition of groups and organizations interested in furthering the availability of these services across the nation.