|On Wednesday, March 27, 2019, we are kicking-off our two-week Virtual Lobby Campaign. This year, the campaign will focus on two important issues and asks that will require the support and action of all respiratory therapists and supporters from March 27-April 10.
ASK #1: Co-Sponsor the BREATHE Act; Introduce a Senate Companion Bill
The first ask relates to the Better Respiration through Expanding Access to Tele-Health Act (the BREATHE Act) which, when introduced, will allow qualified respiratory therapists (RTs) as telehealth practitioners to deliver disease management services to Medicare beneficiaries with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The AARC is asking for respiratory therapists and their supporters to Contact Congress NOW and ask the House to consider co-sponsoring the BREATHE Act when introduced and the Senate to introduce companion legislation.
ASK #2: Direct CMS to monitor access to liquid oxygen during the suspension of competitive bidding to ensure patients are not adversely impacted.
Secondly, we want respiratory therapists and supporters to ask their Congressional leaders to sign a letter to the Medicare Administrator when it is available directing CMS to monitor access to liquid oxygen during the suspension of competitive bidding to ensure patients are not adversely impacted. Since January 1, 2019, Medicare suspended its competitive bidding program for 18-24 months (e.g., gap period), recognizing flaws in the program and the need to establish a new bidding process that leads to more accurate payment for services; however, individuals who need liquid oxygen systems may be seriously impacted by this change.
The AARC staff put together great resources and tools to help you easily share your view on these subjects with legislators. Our Lobby Campaign webpage will give you direct and easy access to sending emails, messages, Facebook posts, as well as calling your representatives.
The AARC Virtual Lobby Campaign webpage (www.aarc.org/advocacy/congressional-legislation/…) is now live. Please check out the site for resources and access to our communication platform. Send your senators and representatives messages about why you feel these issues are important to the respiratory profession and patient care.
As you help spread this message, please tag the AARC (@aarc_tweets or @aarc.org for Facebook) and include #breathingmatters, #aarclobby, and #telehealth in your posts.
You are the voice of respiratory care-share it.
Thank you for the dedication you give each day to your patients and the profession.
Amanda Feil, CAE
American Association For Respiratory Care