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More Hometown Visits

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August 28, 2013

Polly Ann Scott
Eric Anderson, left,
had a great visit with
Rep. Derek Kilmer.

AARC members have been taking advantage of the fact that their members of Congress are back in their home districts this month by scheduling visits with them to outline the value that the Medicare Respiratory Therapist Access Act could bring to the health care system.

Over the past week or so, Eric Anderson, BS, RRT, had a one-on-one with Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Brian Cayko, MBA, RRT, met with Rep. Steve Daines (R-MT), Mary Roth, RRT, AE-C, CPFT, sat down with Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), and Theresa Gramlich, MS, RRT, CPFT, and Rocky Hardy, BSRT, RRT, had a session with Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR).

“Congressman Derek Kilmer's newsletter posted his meeting itinerary for district meetings,” says Anderson. “I was able to meet one-on-one for about ten minutes, which allowed plenty of time to sell HR 2619.”

He also found a personal connection between the Congressman and respiratory care. “Congressman Kilmer's daughter suffers from asthma and he appreciated the disease management approach for keeping his daughter symptom free.”

Anderson says Rep. Kilmer asked him at the end of the conversation whether HR 2619 was his top priority. “I told him that now is the time to be recognized as a profession by Medicare so we can take a proactive role in disease management of COPD.”

Your members of Congress don’t have to be back in Washington, DC, until Sept. 10, so there are still a few more days to visit with them at home. So give them a call today and set something up.

Making a meeting with your Representative is easy:

  • Find their local contact information
  • Call to set a meeting to discuss HR 2619
  • Talk about what you do and how HR 2619 would make respiratory therapy services more accessible to patients
  • Urge them to become a co-sponsor of the bill

Your State Society leadership and your state Political Advocacy Contact Team (PACT) member have more tips on how to  request a meeting with your member of Congress, detailed background information on HR 2619 and “leave with” documents you could use in any meeting. Please contact your Society for more information or just contact Cheryl West, at the AARC west@aarc.org.

About HR 2619

HR 2619 would allow qualified respiratory therapists to provide education and instruction in disease self-management for Medicare patients diagnosed with certain chronic lung diseases. The legislation will allow physicians to utilize the respiratory therapists’ skill set to educate Medicare beneficiaries on how to recognize and reduce symptoms and triggers of their disease to prevent exacerbations that can lead to costly inpatient acute care.