On June 27, the Centers fir Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its “Proposed Decision Memo for Pulmonary Rehabilitation” (CAG-00356N). This memo states that there will be no national coverage determination (NCD) for pulmonary rehabilitation, despite strong evidence that pulmonary rehabilitation is beneficial for patients with COPD and other chronic lung diseases. This decision puts the determination of coverage in the hands of regional Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs), which have replaced Fiscal Intermediaries. It will now be within MACs’ authority to limit or totally eliminate coverage of pulmonary rehabilitation. Congress could change this by passing HR552/SR329, the Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation Act of 2007, and RT readers can show their support of these bills by contacting their senators or representatives. The American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation ([removed]AACVPR[/removed]) urges all respiratory care professionals to support these bills, and its Web site has information on how to communicate with your member of Congress.
May 6, 2009