NMC respiratory therapist lobbies for better health care in Washington, D.C.

  • Date: May 2, 2017
  • Author: NMC Public Relations

Lisa Fuchs, Program Director for Respiratory Care at Nebraska Methodist College Lisa Fuchs, Program Director for Respiratory Care

Omaha, Neb. - Respiratory therapist Lisa Fuchs recently traveled to Washington, D.C., with two other respiratory therapists and patients to ask members of Congress to include respiratory therapists in any telehealth legislation introduced this year. Fuchs, MHA, RRT, CTTS, CHWC, is Program Director for Respiratory Care at Nebraska Methodist College in Omaha.

"Using telehealth services to remotely monitor and manage the clinical condition of the patient and intervene proactively will help avoid a costly hospital admission or re-admission," Fuchs said. "Moreover, increasing access to respiratory therapists as telehealth providers can decrease the burden on Medicare beneficiaries who do not have easy access to their expertise in medical facilities, clinics or physician offices."

With the mounting costs to manage chronic diseases and avoid expensive exacerbations, Fuchs met with Nebraska Congressman Don Bacon to discuss the value respiratory therapists bring to improving their patients' health outcomes and the benefits of including them as telehealth providers. 

"We think the timing is right to improve patients' access to expanded telehealth services and in particular to the unique skills of respiratory therapists who are trained experts in the care of patients' chronic respiratory diseases," Fuchs said.  

Congressional leaders also were asked to include language in the FY2018 Labor-HHS Appropriations Report that would task the Medicare program with an analysis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease claims data that will help validate the respiratory therapists expertise in a variety of settings.

Fuchs is a member of the Political Advocacy Contact Team (PACT), a nationwide group of respiratory therapist and patients organized by the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) and the Nebraska Society for Respiratory Care to spearhead grassroots level advocacy efforts.

About the AARC

The American Association for Respiratory Care, headquartered in Dallas, is a professional association of respiratory therapists that focuses primarily on respiratory therapy education and research. The organization's goals are to ensure that respiratory patients receive safe and effective care from qualified professionals as well as supporting respiratory health care providers. Further information about the AARC and how to become a respiratory therapist is available at http://www.aarc.org/

About Nebraska Methodist College

Nebraska Methodist College - the Josie Harper Campus, based in Omaha, has been teaching the meaning of care for 125 years and counting. An affiliate of Methodist Health System, NMC offers certificate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees both on campus and online. Nebraska Methodist College is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.