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USCC Joins Other Groups in Support of the “Four Pillars of Oxygen Reform”

For too long, patients who require supplemental oxygen have not had access to oxygen appropriate for their medical and quality of life needs, especially individuals who require liquid oxygen.

Led by the American Thoracic Society’s Oxygen Workgroup, chaired by Susan Jacobs, RN, MS, FGAAN, a pulmonary research nurse at Stanford University, the US COPD Coalition, the American Association for Respiratory Care, the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, the COPD Foundation, Allergy & Asthma Association, and many other organizations have come together to urge Congress and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to change their policies to ensure anyone who requires supplemental oxygen can access the most appropriate type of oxygen for their needs. Below are our consensus principles, which will form the basis for efforts for legislative reform.

Four Pillars for Oxygen Reform

1. Ensure supplemental oxygen is patient-centric:

  • “Home oxygen” to “supplemental oxygen” to ensure people requiring oxygen can live full lives outside their primary residence
  • Create a patients bill of rights to ensure care is focused on patient needs

2. Ensure access to liquid oxygen for patients for whom it is medically necessary

3. Create a statutory service element to provide adequate reimbursement for respiratory therapists to ensure patients have access to their expertise

4. To ensure predictable and adequate reimbursement and to protect against fraud and abuse, establish national standardized documentation requirements that rely upon a template rather than prescriber medical records to support claims for supplemental oxygen suppliers

Click the image below to view/download the Four Pillars Consensus Principles.

Support for Caregivers Means Better Care for  Loved Ones with COPD

Providing care for a loved one is an important role, but also comes with challenges. Respiratory Health Association (RHA) created the COPD Caregiver’s Toolkit in 2017 to support informal caregivers of people living with COPD. This educational resource provides caregivers the tools and guidance they need in their role as caregiver, while also protecting their own health. Early support from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s (NHLBI) Learn More Breathe Better® program enabled RHA to study the acceptability and usability of this tool. Findings from this study showed that caregivers found the Toolkit to be useful in navigating the multiple roles of caring for someone living with COPD.

Because of this positive response to Toolkit, NHLBI recently partnered with RHA to create a digital form of the Toolkit in hopes of providing greater support to caregivers across the country. The digital form of the Toolkit contains the same information provided in the hard copy resource, separated into online modules on an NHLBI webpage. These modules cover a variety of topics such as how to prepare for doctors’ appointments, navigate changes in home life, provide help after a COPD flare-up or hospital stay, and more. Medication and vaccination tracking sheets and a list of questions to ask doctors are also available for download on the webpage.

RHA is partnering with Vitalograph, a global leader in respiratory diagnostics, to host a Q&A webinar with RHA President & CEO Joel Africk and Dr. Khalilah Gates, a pulmonologist at Northwestern Hospital. They will introduce and discuss the new digital toolkit, the importance of caregiving, and the role family caregivers have in managing a COPD diagnosis.  You can register for this free webinar by clicking on the button below.

Click here to read a brief message from NHLBI’s Dr. James Kiley and RHA’s Joel Africk about the COPD Caregiver’s Toolkit.

US COPD Coalition Calendar

August 2022

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The U.S. COPD Coalition does not charge membership dues.  100% of our revenue comes from grants and individual donations. Please consider helping us fulfill our mission by clicking on the link above and making a tax-deductible donation.