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  • 15 Jul 2008 4:15 PM | Julie Feirer (Administrator)

    AACVPR Reimbursement Update 

    The Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation Act is now Law

    Congratulations to the members of AACVPR and the patients they serve.  The Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation Act has been voted into law.  As you are aware, the President vetoed the Medicare bill, HR 6331, which includes our Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation provisions in Section 144.  In spite of overwhelming Congressional support for the bill, on Tuesday, July 15th President Bush vetoed this legislation. Both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed this important legislation and responded swiftly to the Presidential veto.  The House of Representatives and the Senate have responded by voting to override that veto.  The House vote to override that veto was 383-41.  Immediately following that vote, the Senate voted to override the veto by a vote of 70 to 26.  This legislation, now law, includes a provision (Section 144) that establishes both cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation services as specific Medicare benefit categories that mandate coverage and payment of services.

    AACVPR members and leaders are to be congratulated on our monumental achievement.  As an organization, we have been working for almost 10 years for a provision to ensure that pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation services are included in the Medicare statute.  Inclusion of Section 144 is a reflection of the very hard and persistent work of AACVPR members to garner support of Senators and Congressmen who clearly voted in support of our provisions.   

    As we celebrate this important milestone for CR and PR, there is still work to be accomplished.  The process from here forward will include several important, complex actions:

    The provisions of the bill have an effective date of 1/1/10 and while it is unlikely that CMS will move forward with an official NCD process for pulmonary rehabilitation in the near future, it would be reasonable to begin the process of engaging MACs and FIs to ensure they understand precisely what Congress has done and offer AACVPR assistance.

    The various pulmonary societies will be meeting shortly to explore options for a proposal of code(s) for the AMA CPT Editorial Panel to consider.  While that process may support a simple shift from G codes to identical CPT codes, it is worthy of discussion among the societies because the coding decisions made in the immediate future will impact pulmonary rehabilitation for years to come. 

    Thank you and congratulations to the members and leaders who contributed their time and energy to contact their senators and representatives for the passage of this important legislation.  The AACVPR Day on the Hill is an important event and we are committed to working closely with CMS to ensure that the payment for CR and PR services is appropriate and provides the resources needed to support the quality of care that patients deserve.   

    As always, AACVPR will be working on behalf of the membership and the field of cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation.  We will continue to communicate with members with the latest information related to the new bill and its implications for reimbursement for pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation services.  Please watch for more information related to this important new law.

    Your best source of communication regarding this bill is AACVPR, so if you are not an AACVPR member, please consider joining today to keep up-to-date on all the latest information your programs and practices will need!

  • 23 May 2008 4:27 PM | Julie Feirer (Administrator)

    This means Iowa has essentially 100% support in Congress for the Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation Act of 2007. Thanks to all of you who wrote letters and helped us convince them that this bill is in the best interest of our patients and programs. We are counting on the support of Senator Grassley for S 329 when this comes to a vote. Senator Grassley's office has informed us that he does not co-sponsor legislation as the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee. Your letter-writing has paid off in a big way! Please take the time to thank your legislators!

  • 16 Feb 2008 4:29 PM | Julie Feirer (Administrator)

    Click on the link "View Event Summary" for the agenda.

    Deadline for hotel reservations is April 10.

    Marriott: (515) 457-3205, $92/night or Motel 6: (515) 267-8885, $46-56/night

    Fifteenth Annual Cardiac and Pulmonary 
    Rehabilitation conference for health professionals 


    May 2-3, 2008
    West Des Moines Marriott, West Des Moines, IA

    Keynote speaker includes

    Murray Low, Ed.D., FAACVPR, FACSM
    As President elect for the AACVPR, Murray will be talking with us about Working Together for the Future: An AACVPR National Update. He will be helping us to understand the AACVPR Strategic Plan for 2008. He also will be addressing Prevention of Chronic Disease in the 21Century through his background in Exercise Physiology.

    Murray is the director of four cardiac rehabilitation programs. He is also a tenured professor at York College. He received his Doctorate in Applied Physiology at Columbia University. He has been a member of the AACVPR since 1985 and has held many positions within that organization as well as within his State association. He has made numerous presentations to the lay public and to local, state, and national associations. His NYS Association honored him for Cardiac & Pulm. Rehabilitation with its first “Visionary Award” and was recognized for his "Excellence in Education." He is an active member of the Connecticut Society for C & P Rehabilitation.

    Partial list of other Speakers:

    Stephen Kopecky, MD FACC
    Professor of Medicine
    Cardiovascular Diseases Mayo Graduate School of Medicine
    Mayo Clinic
    Rochester, MN

    Dr Stephen Zorn, MD
    Board Certified Sleep Physician
    Iowa Sleep Disorder Center
    West Des Moines, IA

    Bob Dickerson, MSHSA, RRT
    Quality Improvement Coordinator, Clinical Quality
    Iowa Health - Des Moines
    Des Moines, Iowa

    Murray Low

    Upper Plains Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Association (UPCRA)
    Nebraska Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Network (NCVPRN)
    Iowa Association of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation (IACPR)

  • 7 Feb 2008 4:31 PM | Julie Feirer (Administrator)

    CMS has now posted clarification to Transmittal 1417/CR 5912 dated January 18, 2008. If you provide and bill for only one session of cardiac rehabilitation for a patient in a given day, that session does not have to be a minimum of 60 minutes. For one session of cardiac rehab, "session" and "hour" are not synonymous. You can read the complete Q & A here for further clarification on billing more than one session in a day.

  • 8 Jan 2008 4:33 PM | Julie Feirer (Administrator)


    Spring 08 ICN UPDATE

    Thursday, February 21st, 2008

    8:45am - 12:15 pm

    Location: via Iowa Communication Network, see sites listed on back. 

    Additional sites can be set up with a minimum of 5 participants by E-mailing Patty Huisenga at Huisenga@mgmc.com or calling 515-239-6780.  If any of the sites below have less than 5 participants, the site may be cancelled.

    Audience:  Interested Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Professionals

    Purpose:  To educate Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation professionals on:

    1) Management of Congestive Heart Failure and new trends in medical treatment.

    2) Pulmonary Exercise Testing


    Jolene Runkel ARNP

    Nurse Practioner at the Iowa Heart Center in Des Moines, IA.

    Steven R. Wanzek MD

    Pulmonologist at the McFarland Clinic, in Ames, IA.


    This program is free to all members of IACPR. There is a $20.00 charge for nonmembers. 


    1.        Review overall management of congestive heart failure.

    2.        Identify new trends in medical regimen for treatment of congestive heart failure.

    3.        Describe new devices used in management of congestive heart failure.

    4.        Understand the diagnostic parameters of pulmonary testing.

    5.        Understand interpretation of patterns of exercise abnormalities in pulmonary testing.


    8:45    Registration

    8:55    Roll Call-Welcome-Announcements

                 Barbara Burmeister RN

    9:10    Management of Congestive Heart Failure and new trends in medical treatment 

    10:30    Pulmonary Exercise Testing            

     12:00    Evaluations

    12:15    Adjournment

    Tuition is free for members of IACPR and $20.00 for nonmembers. Make checks payable to IACPR or register online and pay via PayPal.

    Continuing Education Units:

    0.3 Nursing CEUs are approved by Mary Greeley Medical Center, provider #95. No partial credit will be granted. 1.0 RT CEUs are approved by Mary Greeley Medical Center, provider #009.

  • 15 Oct 2007 4:40 PM | Julie Feirer (Administrator)

    IHA needs your help.  It's hard to believe, but 2008 is closing in fast and IHA's goal of registering 20,000 Hospital Advocates has not yet been reached.

    More than 15,000 of you have received this message because you have taken the time and effort to make health care policy a priority by registering with the Iowa Hospital Advocates Network.  Now it's time to take the next crucial step in building a strong base of hospital advocates. Refer-A-Friend: www.ihaonline.org/invite
    IHA needs more health care leaders like you to organize others to take action.  Earlier this year, hospital advocates helped IHA accomplish multiple legislative successes by responding to Action Alerts and sending more than 20,000 e-mail messages to Iowa legislators. As IHA continues to fight for hospitals on the state and federal levels, the need for grassroots advocates becomes crucial.  The challenges facing hospitals today continue to grow as legislative battles over SCHIP, Medicare/Medicaid Funding, Charity Care Reform, Hospital Reimbursements, Health Care Quality, Price Transparency, Work force/Labor issues, Health Care Reform and dozens of other issues loom in the distance.
    Pairing those issues with the upcoming caucus season and a critical election year heating up, there has never been a more important time to be involved in health care and hospital policy.  
    Now is the time to spread the word to others about how and why to get involved.
    IHA has created an easy way to invite others to join the Iowa Hospital Advocates Network.  "Refer-A-Friend" is a simple way to send an invitation to join the network to your friends, colleagues and others who have an interest in health care policy.  I would like to issue a challenge to you:  Spread the word, organize your staff and get everyone in your hospital registered to receive IHA Legislative Action Alerts and be a part of the future of health care policy in Iowa.

    To invite friends and colleagues to join the Iowa Hospital Advocates Network visit:
    Thank you for your support, and let's register 20,000 advocates by January 1, 2008!
  • 4 Oct 2007 4:41 PM | Julie Feirer (Administrator)

    Notepads are 5 for $2.00. Size: 3 X 3, 25 sheets per pad. Shipping cost $1.60 for 5-10 pads, $3.30 for 11-25 pads. We will calculate shipping for larger orders. If you would like to order, email Karen Schuiteman or call her at (712) 722-8113. Her address is available in the Membership Directory - members will need to log in to access it. Checks should be made payable to IACPR. We will complete your order when we receive your check.

    Here's an image of the sticky notes:

  • 15 Aug 2007 4:44 PM | Julie Feirer (Administrator)

    This one-day workshop for healthcare professionals is designed to provide both background and current infomation on clinical practice related to the care of patients with obesity-related lung disease.   CEU's are available for dieticians, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and respiratory therapists.

    (brochure no longer available)

  • 3 Aug 2007 4:45 PM | Julie Feirer (Administrator)

    We have what may be the last chance to get the Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation Act of 2007 (S 329) into legislation.

    In prior emails, we have asked you to write to your legislators for co-sponsorship of this bill. The message has changed – if you previously contacted your legislators, this is a new request. Now we need you to solicit Senator Harkin’s support as a co-sponsor and Senator Grassley’s support as the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee and let them know that you, as a cardiac/pulmonary rehab professional and a constituent, want to continue to have those services available to your patients! Without this legislation, Pulmonary Rehabilitation programs may no longer exist, and Cardiac Rehabilitation programs will continue to exist under the â€incident to” clause which is confusing and contradictory.

    If you need more background and understanding, visit Immediate Call for Action 

    This Call for Action includes your staff, physicians, patients, administrators, and any other people who are willing to communicate with our legislators to get this bill through.


    1. Contact Senator Grassley by email, fax, or phone. Click here for a sample letter, but please personalize your message. You can copy and paste this into the email link below. If you are calling, ask to speak to Sue Walden and convey the message, or leave a message on her voice mail. The script is included in this attachment.

    Email Chuck Grassley, Phone (202) 224-3744, or Fax (202) 224-6020

    2. Contact Senator Harkin. Click here for a sample letter, but please personalize your message. You can copy and paste this into the email link below. If you are calling, ask to speak to Janelle and convey the message, or leave a message on her voice mail

    Email Tom Harkin, Phone (202) 224-3254, Fax (202) 224-9369

    3. Ask your patients to send letters, emails, or phone. Use the “Sample Patient Letter” as your guide. Offer to fax the letter for them. If all they have to do is sign the letter, you’ll get more participation than if you send them home to do it. If you like, you may put out the petition for your patients to sign. We have provided you sample documents that will require very little editing on your part: Patient Letter to GrassleyPatient Letter to HarkinPetition to Grassley, and Patient Script. Simply fill in the blanks!

    KEY POINT TO REMEMBER – THE NUMBER OF CONTACTS OUR SENATORS RECEIVE IS KEY TO THIS BILL BECOMING LAW. RECRUIT EVERYONE YOU KNOW TO FAX, EMAIL, OR CALL THE SENATORS BEFORE THE END OF AUGUST - THE SOONER THE BETTER!!!  When our Medicare Administrative Contractor is implemented less than a year from now, Pulmonary Rehab programs may no longer exist since CMS has refused to issue a National Coverage Determination. This bill will also remove the confusing regulatory environment of “incident to” services for Cardiac Rehab and clearly create it as a specific Medicare benefit.

    Questions? Contact Janie KnipperSusan Siefkas, or Candy Steele. We would rather have lots of questions (there’s no such thing as a “dumb” one) rather than no response from our IACPR members.

  • 27 Jul 2007 4:47 PM | Julie Feirer (Administrator)

    Our friend and colleague Eileen Davey died Monday, July 23 after a courageous battle with systemic scleroderma. Eileen was a nurse for 34 years. She graduated with her A.A. in nursing from Iowa Tech Community College in 1973. She worked at the Clarinda Regional Health Center for 12 years and most recently in Cardiac Rehab. She retired in January 2006 due to her illness. She was an active member in IACPR and the Southwest Iowa district, served on the Education Committee, and participated in the Heart and Lung Games as a volunteer and patient chaperone. She was very active in her community as a volunteer for many causes.

    The Eileen Davey Memorial Fund has been established. Memorials and condolences can be sent to her husband James Davey, 1200 S. Elm St., Shenandoah, IA 51601-2222.

    You can read about Eileen's story at the CaringBridge website. Type "eileendavey" in the site name (no quotes).

    Our thoughts and prayers are with Eileen's family during this difficult time. We will all miss her.

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