Rep. Mike Ross
Introduces Respiratory Therapy Legislation into Congress
Dallas, TX (March 15, 2011)
Respiratory patients are one
step closer to greater access to respiratory therapists in physicians'
offices, thanks to the introduction of the Medicare Respiratory Therapy
Initiative into Congress.
The Initiative was introduced
into the House of Representatives by Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas on Mar.
8 just as 120 representatives from the American Association for Respiratory
Care (AARC) were on Capitol Hill to educate their members of Congress
on the legislation during the AARC's annual Lobby Day.
H.R. 941 and a companion bill
expected to be introduced into the Senate soon, would recognize qualified
respiratory therapists and the services they furnish by amending the
Medicare statute to include a new and separate benefit category for
respiratory therapy services under the Medicare Part B “medical and
other health services” provision.
The benefit would allow certain
highly qualified respiratory therapists to provide smoking cessation,
asthma management, medication management, and other disease management
services to Medicare patients in the physician's office without the
physician having to be physically present in the office.
“The AARC believes this legislation
could go a long way to reducing unnecessary readmissions for chronic
respiratory disease patients by ensuring they have better access to
the educational and disease management skills of qualified respiratory
therapists in the outpatient setting,” says AARC President Karen Stewart,
MS, RRT, FAARC. “With new provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable
Care Act targeting readmissions for certain costly chronic conditions,
this is a bill whose time has come.”
About the AARC
The American Association for
Respiratory Care, headquartered in Dallas, is a professional association
of respiratory therapists that focuses primarily on respiratory therapy
education and research. The organization's goals are to ensure that
respiratory patients receive safe and effective care from qualified
professionals as well as supporting respiratory health care providers.
The association continues to advocate on behalf of pulmonary patients
for appropriate access to respiratory services provided by qualified
professionals. Further information about the AARC and how to become
a respiratory therapist are available at www.AARC.org
Contact: Beth Binkley