A year ago, Congress voted overwhelmingly to pass the Medicare Improvement for Providers and Patients Act (MIPPA) of 2008 making pulmonary rehabilitation the ‘law of the land.’ However, the most recent Pulmonary Rehabilitation coverage and reimbursement proposal from Medicare outlines a significant reduction in what is covered and the amount paid, as well as which patients are eligible for services. The proposal recommends a dramatic reduction in coverage of pulmonary rehabilitation that would be incompatible with the survival of most, if not all programs.
The proposal also excludes from coverage those with very severe COPD and other chronic lung diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, asthma, pulmonary hypertension and lung surgery, including transplantation. Please consider voicing your concern on this critical issue. While several national scientific and professional societies including patient advocacy groups are proactively working to amend the proposal and to address these serious concerns, we need a united front to communicate the need for appropriate payment for Pulmonary Rehabilitation and coverage for persons with chronic lung disease and disabling symptoms. It will be critical for all of us in the pulmonary community to continue to work to assure that pulmonary rehabilitation is available to all patients with chronic lung disease and disabling symptoms.
Please submit your comments to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid at http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#submitComment?R=09000064809f5cfb before August 31. Please see http://www.aacvpr.org/PolicyReimbursement/Advocacy/tabid/161/Default.aspx (Pulmonary Rehabilitation section) for more information. Your heading should include: Re:OPPS-CMS-1414-P
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