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At the AARC, we think there’s no better cause than that of respiratory therapy and the right of respiratory patients to receive competent respiratory care. To that end, the AARC interacts with local, state, and federal governments on public policies that affect our patients and our profession. As an advocate for our members, AARC does more than simply “watchdog” issues. We aggressively advocate for the recognition of the value of respiratory therapy and therapists in all areas of public policy.

Medicare Respiratory Therapist Access Act HR 2619

The AARC is embarking on a new legislative initiative for 2013. The legislation would amend Medicare Part B to add coverage of pulmonary self-management education and training services when furnished by qualified respiratory therapists in the physician practice setting to Medicare patients who have been diagnosed with COPD, asthma, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary fibrosis and cystic fibrosis. If enacted, this new benefit will not only enhance patient access to respiratory therapists, it will also provide Medicare pulmonary patients with the tools they need to lead healthier lives through self-management of their disease.

We’ve put together two documents that help explain the Medicare Respiratory Therapist Access Act. The first is a one page background paper that briefly describes the the legislation. We have also put together a set of frequently asked questions for AARC members to explain in much more detail the intent of he bill and how it has changed from the previous legislation we worked on. View the FAQs

Finding Information

The AARC is involved in both federal and state legislative and regulatory issues. This page  provides links that take you with more specific information on topics that impact respiratory therapy. 

We receive frequent requests for information  on how to contact members of Congress how to find Medicare information and how to find information on state respiratory therapy licensure contacts and requirements. On this main page we provide information on those frequent requests.

How To Find Your U.S. House of Representative Member of Congress
There are 435 members of the House of Representatives. A Congressman or woman represents a district of approximately 650,000 citizens. Every state has two United States Senators.

To find your members of Congress, just go to the House of Representatives website or the Senate website. Another quick and easy way to find your members of Congress is to use the AARC's Capitol Connection.

How to Find the Sponsors and Co-sponsors of Congressional Bills
To find out which members of Congress have co-sponsored legislation of interest or to track to see if your member has already co-sponsored legislation just follow these steps:

  • Use the Thomas website, which is sponsored by the Library of Congress
  • In the Search Bill Text type in bill number
  • On the next page that comes up the bill you are looking for, usually the very first one is highlighted. Click on it
  • On the next page, you can click on Bill Summary and Status
  • That takes you to the next page which lists among other information the total number of co sponsors, who they are and the date that they co-sponsored the legislation.

How to Find Information on State Respiratory Therapy Licensure Information
Check here for a Matrix (which lists licensure fees, CEUs, renewal times, etc) and the Licensure Board or Committee contact information.

How to Find Medicare and Medicaid Information
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, CMS, is the federal agency that oversees these massive federal and to an extent state health programs.  This link takes you to the main page of the CMS site.

How to find Medicare Coverage Information
CMS has coverage policy site within its main site. This includes a link to Local Coverage Decision Policies. This is a somewhat more difficult site to navigate, but it will take you to the insurance contractors overseeing state and regional Medicare, including local policies that may address respiratory issues such as pulmonary rehab.

Political Advocacy Contact Team (PACT)

These individuals have been appointed by their state respiratory therapy societies to be the key contacts for lobbying federal legislative issues. These individuals also represent their state and the AARC at the annual Washington, D.C. Hill Lobby Day.

You can access our PACT resource page and a list of PACT members here.

Federal Government Affairs

To read about federal issues AARC is involved with:
AARC Federal Activities

Other Federal Issues

State Government Affairs

Resources and Tools
What You Can Do

Access other web sites that may provide information helpful to your efforts including: