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Write to Congress for Better Pulmonary Care Services

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January 26, 2010

The AARC is once again calling on respiratory therapists, their patients and their supporters to write to Congress to gain co-sponsors for the Medicare Pt B Respiratory Therapy Initiative (HR 1077 and S 343) . Congress is coming back into session and in order for this legislation to move forward, members of Congress, both House and Senate need to hear from you.  Go to the AARC’s Capitol Connection site to find an email that bests suits you. We have draft letters for respiratory therapists, RT students, pulmonary patients, friends and caretakers of pulmonary patients.

What does the legislation (HR 1077/S 343) do?

The legislative language will clearly permit respiratory therapists with both a bachelor degree and the advanced, registered respiratory therapist (RRT) professional credential to provide health care services directly under this section. While the respiratory therapist will treat the patient under the supervision of the physician, the proposed coverage under Part B will not require a physician to be physically present to oversee the respiratory therapist.

“New treatments such as smoking cessation, pulmonary rehabilitation, patient education, and compliance monitoring for respiratory inhaled medications are all part of the current health care landscape,” says Cheryl West, AARC’s Director of Government Affairs. “And the only health care professional who is specifically educated and competency tested in all aspects of respiratory care is the respiratory therapist.”

“It is high time that Medicare comes into the 21st century in how it covers respiratory therapy services and the professionals who provide these key services,” says  West. “Medicare has remained frozen in time in this regard, frozen as a matter of fact in the year of 1965.”

Please help the pulmonary patient gain greater access to respiratory therapists contact your member of Congress now and ask for his/her support.