Federal Advocacy

Veterans Need Access to Respiratory Therapists

Ask Congress to help by placing report language in the Fiscal Year 2024 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies appropriations bill Each year, Congress passes appropriations bills that allocate federal spending for each department and agency in the government. In conjunction with these bills, Congress adopts accompanying reports that provide federal agencies with more specific instructions on implementing the programs within their jurisdiction. Submitting report language is an effective way to have Congress weigh in on important issues without passing separate legislation. This year, AARC is submitting report language to address staffing issues for respiratory therapists at the Veterans Affairs administration. Approximately 25 percent of veterans are impacted by COPD, which makes it critical that respiratory therapists be available to veterans at VA hospitals.  Furthermore, last year Congress passed a bill called the PACT Act, which expanded coverage for veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxic exposures. The bill included a list of presumptive conditions that make veterans eligible for coverage, which includes respiratory conditions such as COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung disease, and bronchitis. This will further increase the demand for the services of respiratory therapists who can provide education to patients with respiratory conditions on the trigger and symptoms of their disease to prevent acute exacerbations. Currently, there are gaps in coverage of respiratory therapists in the VA system. However, the VA does not have an effective way of evaluating staffing needs for respiratory therapists within their hospital systems.  AARC has validated time standards thatRead More
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AARC Advocates for Telehealth in Larger Medicare Package

Although Congressional actions on the bipartisan infrastructure package passed by the Senate and the President’s reconciliation bill to advance his social spending plans are still ongoing, we anticipate that making certain telehealth provisions permanent will be back on the radar screen before the end of the year. We have heard an end-of-year package may include telehealth provisions with strong bipartisan support and provisions included in the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and ... Read More »
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AARC DC PACT 2022 Agenda – Time To Prepare

It’s already March 2022! Our AARC PACT Congressional meeting timeframe and legislative agenda is being set up and finalized. We wanted to send out what we know, at this time, to gear up one and all as we’ll need everyone’s valued support again this year! The DC PACT Congressional meetings will be virtual once again this year. Here is our current agenda: April 4 – PACT reps to being scheduling virtual meetings ... Read More »