Virtual Lobby Advocacy Campaign

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HOW CAN YOU SEND YOUR MESSAGE TO CONGRESS?

If you want to use your phone to text a message that will take you directly to the AARC

TAKE ACTION center, you can do so by texting

AARCLOBBY to 52886.

Ask your Members of Congress to Co-Sponsor the CONNECT ACT and the ALLIED WORKFORCE DIVERSITY
ACT when they are Reintroduced!

 

You can help support our efforts by reviewing the legislative initiatives below that are part of this Campaign. Contact your Members of Congress to request they co-sponsor this legislation. Co-sponsorship of important legislation is critical to moving it through the legislative process and your participation makes a difference. For 2021, the AARC will focus on two bills we are asking Members of Congress to co-sponsor when they are reintroduced in the 117th Congress. They are:


CONNECT (Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care

Technologies) Act

 

This bill includes provisions to expand access to telehealth services on a permanent basis; specifically, it promotes increased access to telehealth services by health care professionals, such as respiratory therapists (RTs), who are not currently described as eligible practitioners in the Medicare program’s telehealth benefit, as part of new payment models being tested by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center. We expect this bipartisan legislation to be reintroduced in both the House and Senate soon. Testing models that include RTs as telehealth providers offers expanded access to their expertise. Over 120 organizations officially supported this legislative initiative, including AARC, when introduced in the last Congress.

 

Allied Health Workforce Diversity Act

 

This bill was first introduced in 2019 to support the need to improve educational opportunities through use of grants or scholarships for individuals who are from underrepresented backgrounds, including students from racial and ethnic minorities, in the allied health workforce. At the time, however, only the professions of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology and audiology were included. Based on the recommendation of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the committee with jurisdiction
for the bill, the reintroduction of the bill in the 117th Congress will include respiratory therapists. The bill would increase retention of students by awarding financial support to eligible RTs to complete an associate, bachelor, master, or doctoral degree program.