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It’s already March 2022! Our AARC PACT Congressional meeting timeframe and legislative agenda is being set up and finalized. We wanted to send out what we know, at this time, to gear up one and all as we’ll need everyone’s valued support again this year!
The DC PACT Congressional meetings will be virtual once again this year. Here is our current agenda:
- April 4 – PACT reps to being scheduling virtual meetings
- April 25 – 29 – Virtual Lobby Campaign – (send messages to Congressional leaders)
- May 2 – AARC Briefing for PACT representatives
- May 4 – 25 – Meetings with Congressional Members and Staff
- May 26 – AARC Debriefing Meeting with PACT representatives
This year, our primary focus is on two Pulmonary Rehabilitation bills that we’d like to gain as much IL Congressional support behind as possible. The AARC has supported these legislative efforts in the past. They are:
- H.R. 3348: This bill requires Medicare to establish a financial threshold that would exempt certain outpatient services, such as cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, furnished off-campus from the main hospital complex, from drastic payment reductions based solely on the location of where the service is provided.
- H.R. 1956/S. 1986: This bill would expand and expedite access to cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs under Medicare by moving the effective date from January 1, 2024, to January 1, 2022, to allow physician assistants (PA), nurse practitioners (NP), and clinical nurse specialists (CNS) to order and directly supervise these programs.
The AARC will be sending us more information on both of these bills as we move forward. We will share this on the ISRC website as well as the next TRACT. PLEASE CHECK THE ISRC WEBSITE OFTEN FOR UPDATES!!
Last year we focused on two bills - CONNECT for Health Act (HR 2903/S 1512) and the Allied Workforce Diversity Act (HR 3320/S 1679). We still support these bills.
The Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) Act is related to Telehealth. Congress is considering passing legislation to extend the telehealth flexibilities beyond the current Public Health Emergency (PHE) in order to collect more data to look at long term policies. It is felt that it would be better to follow this closely and evaluate how provisions in the CONNECT for Health Act that we supported would move forward.
The Allied Workforce Diversity Act was sent to the full House for a vote before the holidays but was delayed. The AARC will keep us informed if there is movement with this bill so we can target support efforts again. In IL we currently have 5 House Co-Sponsors of this bill that was sponsored by Representative (Rep) Bobby Rush (IL-1). Current co-sponsors are:
Rep Robin Kelly (IL-2); Rep Mike Quigley (IL-5); Rep Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-8);
Rep Jan Schakowsky (IL-9); Rep Lauren Underwood (IL-14)
At the AARC PACT meetings last year, we had wonderful support from our IL District Reps! It was vital that they were able to attend the virtual meetings with their Congressional Offices so that they could speak to the value of Respiratory Therapists during the pandemic as well as how the legislation we were discussing would affect the patients in their District.
If you are interested in becoming an AARC IL PACT District Rep, please reach out to us. Check the ISRC website as we’ll be posting all District Rep openings we may have very soon.
We both appreciate the opportunity to be Co-Chairs for the AARC IL PACT and look forward to pursuing congressional support for the AARC PACT 2022 Legislative Agenda!
AARC IL PACT Co-Chairs:
Lexie Caraway – email@example.com
Lisa Zaenger – firstname.lastname@example.org