In the News

AARC Comments on Proposed Asthma Codes

January 24, 2002

American Medical Association
CPT Editorial Research & Development
515 N. State Street
Chicago, IL 60610

Attn: Arlene Watkins

Dear Ms. Watkins:
I am writing on behalf of the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) in support of the proposed Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes for asthma counseling and coordination. The AARC is a national professional association representing approximately 32,000 respiratory therapists, many of whom care for patients with asthma on a routine basis.

Specifically, the AARC supports the adoption of the following proposed CPT codes under the Allergy and Clinical Immunology portion of the Medicine section:

950X1   Professional services for asthma coordination and counseling (e.g., coordination of care, instruction/re-instruction of medication use, monitoring techniques, environmental controls), first 30 minutes, face-to-face, individual.

950X2   Family (with the patient present).

950X3   Family (with the patient not present).

950X4   Each additional 15 minutes (list separately in addition to code               for primary procedure).

(Use 950X4 in conjunction with codes 950X1-950X2, as appropriate).

The adoption of these proposed CPT codes focusing on counseling and coordination of care will help asthma patients keep their asthma under control. This will not only benefit the patient, but should positively impact health care costs by reducing emergency room visits and potential hospital admissions.

Furthermore, these proposed codes will give asthma patients access to other health care professionals, such as respiratory therapists, who, under a physician's supervision, have the knowledge and expertise to counsel and educate patients, and to coordinate their care. This is particularly helpful given physicians' time constraints that make it difficult for them to spend extra time with asthma patients in order to coordinate their care.

The AARC appreciates this opportunity to comment on these proposed codes, and we offer our assistance in providing any additional information.

Margaret F. Traband, MEd, RRT