PACT Day Efforts Promote Telehealth Bill

capitol2Respiratory therapists will be going to Washington DC on March 18 to lobby for the Medicare Telehealth Parity Act. All AARC members will be playing a role in their success, as we launch Virtual Lobby Week on March 9, where your letters and contacts with your members of Congress will help pave the way.

Members of the AARC’s Political Advocacy Contact Team (PACT) will be flying in from over 44 states and the District of Columbia on March 17 to get ready for more than 300 visits to Congress on March 18.

This year, the group will be advocating for the Medicare Telehealth Parity Act. This is a piece of legislation that has wide support from the health care community. It benefits respiratory therapists in several key ways:

  • It covers licensed respiratory therapists as qualified telehealth practitioners.
  • It incorporates respiratory therapists into the Medicare statute.
  • It adds coverage of remote patient management services, including COPD.

telehealthMore details and benefits to this profession are outlined in the following FAQ document.

“This is a departure from our Congressional message of past years,” said Cheryl West, director of government affairs, “but we see this as having huge support from the health care community at large and many benefits for the respiratory therapist when it passes.”

Telehealth services are those that include audio or video communication between practitioners who are located in different sites. It is especially useful for rural settings. Assuring a greater role for respiratory therapists in a telehealth bill will be a foot in the door to greater access to respiratory therapist services for patients.

Keep a watch for a call to action next week and be ready to write your letters to Congress, supporting this bill and the PACT members who will be visiting them on March 18.