AARC DC PACT Trip 2023 Update

The Lincoln Memorial In Washington Dc

Formally known as Advocacy Week or PACT Week, the Annual Respiratory Care Fly-In is a time for respiratory therapists to come together in Washington, D.C. to fight for their patients and profession. This year’s Fly-In meeting to Washington DC is Sept. 26–27, 2023.

The AARC PACT team has been meeting to discuss our current advocacy initiatives. The week will culminate with the annual Hill Day, which brings respiratory therapy into the spotlight on Capitol Hill through meetings with legislators and/or their staff.

Here’s how you can participate:

We need permanent telehealth/virtual pulmonary rehabilitation for Medicare beneficiaries (H.R. 1406)

Request: Co-Sponsor of HR 1406

Without additional authority from Congress, CMS has no flexibility to permit permanent continuation of virtual cardiac and pulmonary rehab services to Medicare beneficiaries in their homes once the Public Health Emergency ended on May 11, 2023. The waivers under the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) allow cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation services to be furnished to patients in their homes as virtual services by physicians or practitioners in a hospital outpatient department through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Without Walls initiative.

Under those waivers, respiratory therapists can furnish virtual pulmonary rehab services when an eligible practitioner bills for the service. Representatives John Joyce (R-PA) and Scott Peters (D-CA) introduced legislation called “Sustainable Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Services in the Home Act (H.R. 1406)”, which would permanently allow patients to receive in-home cardiac and pulmonary rehab services under Medicare.

We need your help to gain co-sponsors for this legislation. Please go to the Take Action alert on the AARC website to request cosponsors for this important legislation, which will ensure that patients continue to have access to in-home cardiac and pulmonary rehab services even after the PHE ended on May 11, 2023.

Support Medicare Oxygen Payment Reform—Support a Legislative Fix

Medicare beneficiaries who require supplemental oxygen can’t access oxygen systems appropriate for their medical needs. This is even worse for those who require liquid oxygen. To help fix this issue, the AARC has been working with a comprehensive coalition of oxygen stakeholders that includes, providers, patients, and the durable medical equipment industry. We have met with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to ask for oxygen reform through regulatory change. And although CMS may have authority to do so they have indicated that the solution must come from Congress.

We ask you to join us in asking Congress to pass legislation to ensure anyone who requires supplemental oxygen can access the most appropriate type of oxygen equipment for their needs. Congress must prioritize patients and solve this problem.

Take action today via the Take Action alert on the AARC website and urge Congress to pass legislation addressing the challenges associated with supplemental oxygen.

Our coalition has based legislative reform on 4 Pillars

  1. Ensure supplemental oxygen is patient-centric.
  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.


SEPTEMBER 18, 2023 – SEPTEMBER 28, 2023

We need everyone to TAKE ACTION starting September 18, 2023 by using this link.


This will take you to the AARC TAKE ACTION site and send emails on both of these issues.  All you have to do is fill in your name/address where prompted and the emails can be sent.  There are templates already in place as well as a spot for you to type in your own additional message!  It takes less than 5 minutes to make a HUGE difference!!  Spread the word of this email campaign to your colleagues, RT Students, other healthcare providers, friends and supporters of lung health issues!!

If you have any questions, please reach out to your IL AARC PACT Co-Chairs at:

Lisa Zaenger – (lzang@pelvip.com) OR Lexie Caraway – lexie.caraway@claycountyhospital.org