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Outside Organizations Support PACT Mission in DC

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March 4, 2010

As your AARC Political Advocacy Contact Team (PACT) gets ready to go to Washington, DC, next week, official support from other organizations is helping to bolster their visits.

The Alpha-1 Association, Alpha-1 Foundation, American College of Chest Physicians, COPD Foundation, National Association for Medical Direction of Respiratory Care, and American Thoracic Society (ATS) have all written to key members of Congress or issued position statements in support of the Medicare Respiratory Therapy Initiative (S. 343/H.R. 1077).

The bill seeks to revise the Medicare law to permit qualified respiratory therapists to provide certain respiratory care services, such as smoking cessation, disease management, and metered-dose inhaler device and medication education, under the general supervision of a physician in the physician’s office.

The ATS letter, which went out to Senator Blanche Lincoln and Representative Mike Ross, serves as a great example of how support from these influential organizations is reinforcing the messages your PACT volunteers will deliver next week.

“Enactment of this legislation will allow Medicare beneficiaries to have improved access to the respiratory care services qualified respiratory therapists provide by allowing respiratory therapists to charge for their services under the general supervision of a physician,” writes ATS President J. Randall Curtis, MD, MPH. “This legislation merely recognizes current clinical practice in which qualified respiratory therapists, under physician supervision, are offering a range of services to patients with lung disease.”

You can help spread the word as well. Read up on the issues, and then e-mail your members of Congress in support of your PACT’s efforts as well.