Improve Patient Access to Pulmonary Rehabilitation and to Respiratory Therapists
The American Association for Respiratory Care is a strong advocate for respiratory therapists, the respiratory care profession, and patients who suffer from chronic respiratory disease.
For our 2022 advocacy campaign, the AARC supports legislation that improves patient access to pulmonary rehabilitation services and to respiratory therapists who are experts in providing education and exercise that are essential components of the program. In addition to individuals diagnosed with moderate, severe, and very severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the Medicare program has extended coverage of pulmonary rehabilitation services to include individuals who have had confirmed or suspected COVID-19 and experience persistent symptoms that include respiratory dysfunction for a least 4 weeks. Now, more than ever, it is important that we improve access and utilization of these vital programs.
Our 2022 advocacy campaign is comprised of two action requests. Additional information is provided in our Frequently Asked Questions:
Improving Access to Quality Cardiac Rehabilitation — (H.R. 1956 and S. 1986)
Making Permanent Temporary Waivers that Allow Virtual PR Services
In response to the COVID-19 PHE, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) deployed a combination of temporary, emergency waivers and flexibilities to allow the virtual delivery of cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation services usually provided in the hospital outpatient setting to Medicare beneficiaries in their homes under the Hospital Without Walls program. Also, as part of the telehealth waivers that included physician practices, CMS permitted respiratory therapists to furnish pulmonary rehab and other telehealth services in which the eligible practitioner bills Medicare. These flexibilities expire at the conclusion of the PHE.
You can help support our efforts by going to our Take Action Now link below and completing a short message that will be sent directly to your Representatives and Senators. It only takes a few minutes, so don’t delay. Your participation and support for AARC activities can make a difference!