Missouri Members Lobby for Telehealth

 Updated: February 9, 2016

2016 Missouri Lobby DayThe Missouri delegation gathered for a photo op on the steps inside the Capitol Rotunda.

Telehealth services are being touted as a way to provide quality health care services to more people at lower costs, and the AARC Political Advocacy Contact Team will be heading up Capitol Hill to lobby Congress on the Medicare Telehealth Parity Act on April 12.

Legislative Day in Jefferson City

AARC Missouri AdvocacyMSRC President G.W. Hamilton rallied the troops in the exhibit area.

AARC members in Missouri got a head start on telehealth advocacy last Wednesday during their annual Legislative Day in Jefferson City. “We have a couple of telehealth bills active in Missouri,” says Missouri Society for Respiratory Care Legislative Committee Co-Chair Ronda Bradley, MS, RRT. “What has been determined thus far is that the language in the HB 1923 bill is designed to not be restrictive of any licensed health care provider operating under their scope of practice – that is us!”

AARC Missouri AdvocacyRep. Bill Otto, center, took time out of his schedule to meet with, from left to right, Cali Knepp, Yvonne Cheng, Dana Evans, and Diana Caro.

A companion bill is in the works in the Missouri Senate and the Missouri Society lobbyist believes it could go to a vote within the next couple of months and be on the governor’s desk for signing sometime this spring.

Bradley says more than 40 RTs and RT students attended the Legislative Day event, which featured an exhibit in a central area of the legislature along with the visits to individual legislators’ offices to lobby for the bill.

Student Participation

Students came from six area colleges — Ozark Technical College, Rolla Technical Institute, St. Louis College of Health Careers, the University of Missouri, Cape Girardeau Career and Technical Center, and Missouri Southern State University – and some of them were even introduced on the legislature floor, providing some great recognition for the profession of respiratory care.

“It was a wildly successful event and we already have plans to grow for next year,” says Bradley.

In the meantime, she’ll be continuing the mission to advocate for respiratory issues important in her state via her membership on a task force set up to look into barriers to care and cost reduction initiatives for technology dependent pediatric patients. “I am honored to have a seat at the table with the Missouri Hospital Association, the Missouri Home Medical Association, the pediatric pulmonary physicians group, and the medical director of Medicaid.”