Contact Congress April 11–May 2, 2018
Ask for Respiratory Therapists to Be Included
What is a respiratory therapist (RT)?
A respiratory therapist (RT) is a certified medical professional who specializes in providing healthcare for your lungs. RTs work alongside doctors and nurses; focused only on patients who suffer from respiratory ailments like COPD, asthma, pneumonia, lung trauma and other respiratory-related diagnoses.
Respiratory therapists help improve outcomes for their patients by offering disease self-management education and training, proper medication delivery techniques, breathing assessments, exercise methodology, and monitoring patient progress. They also have advanced knowledge of high-tech equipment and medical devices, such as mechanical ventilators, supplemental oxygen, aerosol delivery devices and more.
What is telehealth and who uses it?
Telehealth is when healthcare providers use technology to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients remotely, without the need for an in-person visit.
Patients who benefit most from telehealth services are those:
- Living in rural areas with long commutes, or
- Who have physical ailments making it difficult to visit a medical facility
How can RTs use telehealth to help COPD and respiratory patients?
Respiratory therapists can use telehealth services to offer their patients self-management education and training, demonstration and evaluation of inhaler techniques, smoking cessation counseling, as well as remote patient monitoring and evaluation.
Act Now! Ask Congress to approve RTs as telehealth practitioners
Respiratory therapists are uniquely qualified to provide telehealth services given their understanding of COPD and other respiratory diseases. Because of this, AARC is asking Congress to support pilot telehealth legislation that would allow respiratory therapists to assist Medicare patients who have COPD. If legislation is enacted, it will help pave the way for respiratory patients to receive additional telehealth services from RTs in the future.
Help empower respiratory patients and families today, ask Congress to support their freedom of choice to use respiratory therapists in telehealth services!