AARC Virtual Lobby Week
Respiratory therapists went to Washington, D.C. to meet with members of Congress to lobby for support of HR 2619 The “Medicare Respiratory Therapist Access Act”. While the lobby week has been completed, you can still help our respiratory therapists, patient advocates and local area RT students in their efforts by contacting your own members of Congress.
We hope this year’s Virtual Lobby Week will generate thousands of emails, letters and phone calls to Congress from respiratory therapists, pulmonary patients and supporters of the respiratory therapy profession. Our Virtual Lobby Week was scheduled right before the respiratory therapists designated as your state societies’ Political Advocacy Contact Team (PACT) representatives came to Washington, DC for the respiratory profession’s annual Capitol Hill Lobby Day, which was set for April 1st . RTs were again joined this year by patient advocates and students from local DC area respiratory therapy education programs.
For more information about the results of the Virtual Lobby Week and what can still be done - click here.
MSRC RT Licensure Update
As you may recall, in early 2012 the Office of Regulatory Reinvention (ORR) recommended the de-regulation of 18 professions, with Respiratory Therapy being among them. Since that time, the MSRC has been diligently fighting to preserve our license and has retained Kindsvatter, Dalling and Associates (KDA) as our lobby firm to help guide our efforts. Over the past year, there had not been a lot of movement with this recommendation, although we were expecting some action early this fall and pro-actively took some initial steps in order to be well positioned when the time arose.
After many meetings and discussions between KDA and key policy makers in Lansing it became very clear that all 18 professions, including Respiratory Therapy, will face a legislative battle on deregulation. In fact, Senate Bill 514 has now been introduced to deregulate Respiratory Therapy license in Michigan. Here is a link to Senate Bill 514: http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2013-SB-0514.
The MSRC leadership and KDA have been diligently working on educating our elected leaders about the need to preserve the Respiratory Therapy license here in Michigan.
Although we have the support of many organizations such as the AARC, NBRC, ATS, and the COPD Foundation, WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT! We need every one of our members to contact your elected State Senator or State Representative and urge them to preserve our license and oppose SB 514!
We know that you may not be well versed with legislative language, BUT you are all RTs and can certainly explain the complex nature of our profession, the role you play to help your patients on a daily basis, and defend why our profession must remain licensed!
We have created a list of ‘Talking Points’ that you may use to assist you with scheduling a meeting or phone call with your Legislator.
Donate to MSRC PAC
In order for our profession and our lobbyists to have all the tools necessary to help preserve the RT license, the MSRC needs your help to revitalize the MSRC PAC. Please click here to download a contribution form.
Act now! Please support HR2619 - the Medicare Respiratory Therapist Access Act
This past March, during Virtual Lobby Week, our MSRC members and supporters sent over 1,000 emails and letters in support of the ‘Medicare Respiratory Therapist Access Act’. We need your help again!
On Monday, July 8th, Rep. John Lewis from Georgia introduced ‘HR 2619’. As you may recall, this legislation would amend Medicare Part B to provide coverage of chronic disease management services furnished by a Respiratory Therapist in the physician practice setting. Ultimately, providing those with chronic lung disease greater access to RT’s and to the self-management education and training that they are currently lacking.
Frank Salvatore, AARC’s Federal Government Affairs Committee Chairman, has charged each state with the following:
‘For the State Leadership, I ask that you begin helping the PACT communicate this throughout your state by having your webmaster attach a link to the banner ad on the AARC Website. We also need to get the information flowing throughout your states. Prepare to get those e-mails, phone calls and faxes going. My challenge to you is to see if we can get about 200+ co-sponsors within a month!!! Also, since the e-mails from capitol connection will be going not only to Representatives, let’s see if our e-mail campaign can spark a companion bill in the Senate within a month!’
‘The big lift is upon us! This is our time!...I firmly believe that now is our time and we must find a way to engage the grass-roots member to understand that this bill has so many more ramifications to our patients and profession than if it affects them in their job now!! It will hit every aspect of Respiratory Care positively if we get this done now. It has so much to do with readmission, better patient care, better patient access...It’s just good medicine and it needs to be delivered by an RT. I hope you will get as jazzed up about this as I am. Please start greasing the communication wheels. Find ways to get to every RT within your state’.
SEND YOUR EMAIL OF SUPPORT NOW BY VISITING: http://capwiz.com/aarc/issues/
We hope that you will act soon and support your profession and the patients that we serve!
Thank you for your support,
Teena Culhane and Jeremy Bainbridge, MSRC Legislative Co-Chairs