The US COPD Coalition (USCC) has joined fifteen other advocacy organizations in signing on to a letter to members of Congress asking them to co-sponsor H.R. 2508, the “Better Respiration through Expanded Access to Tele-Health Act” (the BREATHE Act). The BREATHE Act would expand Medicare coverage of telehealth services for COPD and remove barriers to access to necessary and appropriate telehealth services provided by respiratory therapists. Specifically, the act would create a three-year pilot program, allowing CMS to quantify the value of respiratory therapists as telehealth practitioners.
The letter states that if enacted, the BREATHE Act “has the potential to improve health outcomes of patients with COPD and lower associated costs. The three-year pilot will allow for the collection of critical data that CMS can use to determine the value of including qualified respiratory therapists as telehealth practitioners under the Medicare program to improve health outcomes, reduce unnecessary emergency department visits and hospital admissions/readmissions, and lower the cost of care provided to patients with COPD.