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How understanding the role of RTs can significantly impact chronic care management in the home

“In the acute care hospital, the RT is a well-respected team leader in respiratory care.  Yet as soon as that patient is discharged, they suddenly lose that supportive RT expertise. RTs are underutilized in the post-acute setting because there currently is no payment mechanism to recognize essential RT services.”

“Until reimbursement reflects the strides that have been made in the technologies over the years, individuals with chronic respiratory disease that require home care stand to be at risk of not having access to much needed specialized care from respiratory therapists”, said Tom Kallstrom, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC).  “This is especially prevalent now that Medicare has added noninvasive ventilators to competitive bidding,” he added.

According to Anne Marie Hummel, the Associate Executive Director of Advocacy and Government Affairs at the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), respiratory therapists are serving on the front line combating COVID-19 and saving lives on a daily basis. It is important now, more than ever, that Americans receive the care they require in their home without exposing themselves to the virus unnecessarily, and by ensuring hospital resources are reserved for those most in need.  The AARC has engaged the Administration and Congress in lifting waivers that would allow respiratory therapists to be telehealth practitioners temporarily for the duration of the national public health emergency. Unfortunately, when the nation needs them most, respiratory therapists are not included among those professionals who can furnish telehealth services.  By adding them to the roster of telehealth practitioners, respiratory therapists would be able to:


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