Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.

Henry Ford

The Telemedicine Enhancement Act

The wait is over! The Medicare Telehealth Parity Act has been re-introduced in Congress with the bill number H.R. 2948.

Last April over 120 respiratory therapists from around the country, including those who represent the Political Advocacy Contact Team (PACT) from your state, descended on Washington D.C. These respiratory therapists came to lobby their members of Congress to support the re-introduction of the Medicare Telehealth Parity Act.

In order to make sure that Members of Congress know that the respiratory care profession still supports the bill and, more importantly, that respiratory therapists want their own Representatives to co-sponsor H.R. 2948, we’re relaunching our Virtual Lobby Week set for July 17–26. More than 20,000 messages were sent to Congress earlier and we want to exceed that number now that the bill has been reintroduced.

H.R. 2948 expands opportunities for Medicare beneficiaries who suffer from pulmonary disease by 1) covering respiratory services when furnished via an interactive telecommunications system, 2) including an individual’s home as a telehealth site, and 3) naming respiratory therapists as qualified telehealth professionals. The latter is most important because it will add respiratory therapists to the Medicare statute, a long-time goal of the AARC. The bill also covers remote patient monitoring for patients with certain chronic conditions that include COPD when furnished as part of chronic care management services.

In order for H.R. 2948, the Medicare Telehealth Parity Act to gain the co-sponsors necessary to move forward through the legislative process, your State Representatives need to hear from you, the voter, that you want him or her to co-sponsor H.R. 2948. You can also ask your Senators to support introduction of a Senate companion bill. To help you achieve these goals, the AARC is rebooting our successful Virtual Lobby Week from March 28 through April 8.

Quote: Henry Ford. (n.d.). Retrieved October 10, 2015, from Web site: