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AARC Virtual Lobby Campaign | Aug 19th - 22nd, 2019
Patients with lung diseases and their families need your help! The BREATH act is an opportunity to make the services of a respiratory therapist available to patients through telemedicine in their homes. Download the flyer below to learn how you can help!
The Better Respiration through Expanding Access to Tele-Health Act (the BREATHE Act), H.R. 2508 will allow qualified respiratory
therapists (RTs) as telehealth practitioners to deliver disease management services to Medicare beneficiaries with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
» Services would be limited to self-education management and training, demonstration and evaluation of proper inhaler techniques,
smoking cessation and remote patient monitoring of respiratory physiologic data.
» Studies show respiratory therapists can improve outcomes by reducing unnecessary emergency department visits, hospital admissions and hospital readmissions which lead to lower utilization of health care services and lower costs of care.
» RTs would work under the direct supervision of the physician and the physician would bill Medicare.
» The bill is a 3-year pilot, with the Secretary required to submit a Report to Congress on the findings no later than one year from the
expiration date of the pilot.
COPD patients involved in studies that included telehealth home monitoring to enhance patient education and self-management
skills had improved health outcomes, lower healthcare resource utilization, and decreased healthcare costs.
Self-management education and training via telehealth can prevent acute excerbations. The BREATHE Act would allow patients in rural areas and those who are unable to get to their doctor’s office to receive care in their home.
» Respiratory therapists are experts in pulmonary medicine.
» Respiratory therapists are not currently included as qualified Medicare telehealth practitioners.
» Recognition by Medicare of respiratory therapists’ expertise and skills is long overdue.