By Kitty Collins, RRT, TACVPR President | October 10, 2018
I attended the 33rd AACVPR Annual Meeting in Louisville for many reasons, including my personal professional growth, networking with other professionals, and staying current on old and new topics. But as an Affiliate Leader, I felt that it was imperative that I attend as a responsibility to report updates on legislative issues and reimbursement guidelines to our Texas affiliates that need this information.
I attended the pre-con “Unlocking the Mystery of Medicare Rules for Pulmonary Rehabilitation” presented by Jane Knipper, as did several of our affiliates. Since pulmonary rehabilitation is divided into two sets of rules and reimbursement for those with COPD and other pulmonary diseases, it is much more complicated for those who work in the pulmonary rehab field. There have also been an increase in cardiac rehab programs instituting pulmonary rehab in Texas that need guidance on these issues.
One of the biggest takeaways from Jane’s talk was that there is no specific regulation regarding staffing and providing respiratory therapy rehab unless your MAC requires this. Most programs were under the assumption that this service could only be provided by a licensed professional such as an RN, RT or PT, and, as a result, would only have patients attend on days that one of these was available or not at all, as there were only EPs on staff. Although, as we all know, a multi-disciplinary staff is preferred, there is not always the opportunity to provide this in all situations. Providing this information to our affiliates will improve patient access throughout our state.
I thoroughly enjoyed the 33rd Annual Meeting and the selection of topics and speakers, and I look forward to next year's meeting. Thank you, AACVPR.