The Massachusetts Society for Respiratory Care
represents Respiratory Therapists by promoting, advocating, and educating the respiratory community.
Demonstrate the value of the respiratory therapist in providing respiratory care by supporting, conducting, and publishing research information. Research should compare the value of the respiratory therapist to others who may provide respiratory care services. Information generated should consider the needs of employers, legislators, regulators, other health professionals, and patients. Research efforts will, when appropriate and possible, be conducted in collaboration with other healthcare stakeholders.
Advocate at the federal and state level for health care policy that promotes access to appropriate, safe, and effective respiratory care for patients and the public. Develop and implement promotion/marketing of the respiratory therapist targeted to legislators, policy makers, and payers. Messages will emphasize the value of the respiratory therapist in controlling the utilization of services, creating cost savings, improving outcomes and patient safety, and increasing access to respiratory care as provided by a respiratory therapist.
Deliver top level education with respiratory therapists in mind. Our yearly conference that has been actively educating respiratory therapists, nurses, physicians, and other health care professionals for over 30 years. This conference is held annually in the fall.
Tell Congress to Support RTs as Telehealth Practitioners
April 11–May 2, 2018
What is Telehealth?
Telehealth covers a variety of technologies and tactics to remotely deliver medical, health, and education services to patients. Telehealth is not a specific service, but a collection of ways to enhance patient care and education. More specifically, telehealth uses digital information and communication technologies, such as computers and mobile devices, to provide health care services for patients.
Who Uses Telehealth?
Patients who benefit most from telehealth services are those:
- Living in rural areas with long commutes, or
- Who have physical ailments making it difficult to visit a medical facility
What’s the Goal for AARC’s 2018 Virtual Lobby Campaign?
As we kick off our 2018 Virtual Lobby Campaign, we aim to gain support in Congress for a telehealth pilot focused solely on respiratory therapists (RT) as telehealth practitioners. This program will give us the chance to gather information on both the health impact and costs associated with these services. It will also provide a platform to demonstrate the expertise RTs bring to the health care system and their patients. We’ve already received positive feedback from key telehealth proponents about the pilot.
The pilot would allow qualified respiratory therapists as telehealth practitioners to provide self-management education and training, demonstration and evaluation of inhaler techniques, smoking cessation counseling and remote patient monitoring to Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with COPD. Review our proposed specificationsto learn more about the pilot.
The AARC Social Media Toolkit has the resources you need to spread the word on Facebook and Twitter.
How Did This Telehealth Pilot Come About?
Before focusing on this pilot, the AARC advocated for the three telehealth bills introduced in the House of Representatives that include respiratory therapists as telehealth practitioners in addition to other allied health professionals. They are: H.R. 2550, the Medicare Telehealth Parity Act; H.R. 2291, Helping Expand Telehealth to Rural America (HEART) Act; and H.R. 766, Telehealth for Individuals Residing in Public Housing. While we still support this legislation, we have heard large bills, such as the Parity Act, are unlikely to advance in Congress because of the significant costs associated with them. The committees of jurisdiction are instead focusing on telehealth provisions that are narrow in scope with a lower price tag. Therefore, AARC has shifted its strategy in response.
So How Can You Help?
Contact your House Member and Senators by email and phone asking them to support a telehealth pilot that studies the impact RTs can have on the health outcomes and costs associated with Medicare beneficiaries with COPD by clicking on the “Take Action” box above.
It’s important that Congress hear from RTs, patients, and other supporters of the respiratory profession. This is an exciting time as the recognition of respiratory therapists by Congressional leaders is gaining momentum. Don’t delay — get started now!
Let Your Voice Be Heard