Asthma Self-Management Education Overview

The Asthma Self-Management Education (ASME) Program was implemented by the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) to recognize and certify asthma education programs that adhere to high standards of quality. Organizations that conduct asthma disease management programs are invited to apply for AARC certification.

Why should our program seek certification?

Certification indicates that the content of your educational training program and the qualifications of nonphysician healthcare professionals employed by the program are consistent with the standards established by the American Association for Respiratory Care. This is an important indicator of quality recognized by patients, referring health care providers, and third party payors and can be a valuable addition to your marketing and reimbursement efforts.

What are those standards of quality?

The ASME Program Certification Standards were developed by an experienced multi-disciplinary team of respiratory therapists, physicians, nurses and pharmacists based on evidence-based medicine. Programs certified by these standards will demonstrate that they have:

  • Program leadership and instructional staff with documented competency in providing patient education
  • Sufficient resources to support the personnel and operations
  • Identified their target population of asthma patients, their specific needs, and outcomes achieved by the program participants
  • Continuously monitored, evaluated and adjusted the various components of the program, based on the results of their continuous quality improvement program

How does certification apply to reimbursement?

New CPT Codes were released by the American Medical Association in 2006 in the category of Education and Training for Patient Self-Management.

  • 98960: Education and training for patient self-management by a qualified, nonphysician health care professional using a standardized curriculum, face-to-face with the patient (could include caregiver/family) each 30 minutes, individual patient.
  • 98961: 2–4 patients
  • 98962: 5–8 patients

The curriculum used in patient education must be recognized by a physician society or by a nonphysician healthcare professional society/association such as the AARC.

While recognition of your program does not guarantee reimbursement from third party payors, some type of recognition such as this AARC formal certification is needed to apply for reimbursement under these CPT codes.

What are the minimum requirements to apply for the program?

Any asthma disease management program that has accepted patients for at least 6 months may apply.

What is the length of certification?

Certification is awarded for a 3-year period.

What fees are involved?

The review process is thorough and takes about 60 days. Initial certification for 3 years is $500 for the first training facility and $250 for each additional site. At renewal after 3 years, fees are lower.

How does the certification process work?

After reviewing the ASME Program Certification Standards to see if your program may qualify, you will download the application from this web site, complete it, and return it via e-mail with payment. A reviewer will evaluate the application and make a recommendation for certification. The entire review process takes about 60-90 days depending on the completeness of the application. For more information, see How It Works.

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