Congress considers pilot program to treat COPD patients through telehealth


A proposed pilot program will now encourage and improve care management for chronic obstructive pulmonary patients by enabling respiratory therapists to treat them via telehealth.

The Better Respiration through Expanded Access to Tele-Health Act (HR 2508), introduced in the US House of Representatives would create the three-year pilot program. This will allow qualified respiratory therapists to use telemedicine as a platform to deliver chronic care management services to selected Medicare members suffering from COPD.

US Rep. TJ Cox (D-CA), who introduced the bill with Reps. Mike Thompson (D-CA), Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA) jointly mentioned in the press release that its vital we ensure that telehealth services are expanded to all Americans and they have equal access to best care and treatments irrespective of where they live.

Through patient education, self-management assistance and timely access to care, this bill ensures patients can get access to care in the comfort of their home and reduce financial burden on Medicare.

Mike Kelly added that current law doesn’t qualify medical professionals to deliver disease management via telehealth services, despite the fact that such services are extremely effective for patients. The bill aims at fixing this issue and will increase access to healthcare and reduce costs for American seniors.

This bill aims at improving care for patients with COPD in their homes and reduce the possibilities of adverse health effects and hospitalizations, calls for a report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on the program’s effectiveness upon its completion.

There is evidence that a virtual care platform can improve care management for COPD patients, the third leading cause of death in US.