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HR 6376 Will Help Pulmonary Rehab Programs

October 26, 2010

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A bill has been introduced in Congress, HR 6376 that will, if passed will overturn the strict interpretation by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) that is hurting outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation programs.

CMS has made it clear that the agency interprets the law that created the pulmonary and cardiac Rehab benefit as requiring physicians and only physicians may direct pulmonary and cardiac rehab programs. The chilling impact this rule is having on PR programs across the country is widespread as PR programs and facilities scramble to find physicians to fill the mandated supervisor role. The ruling is hitting small hospitals, especially critical access hospitals especially hard.

HR 6376 is legislation that will change the CMS ruling and allow other non physician practitioners, such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners to supervise PR and cardiac programs (as well as physicians).

The AARC fully supports the legislation as it will provide needed flexibility for facilities to establish and maintain Pulmonary Rehab programs.

We ask you also to support the effort, by going to Capitol Connection and sending an email to your House of Representative asking for your member to co-sponsor HR 6376.