H.C.R. NO.














REquesting federal recognition of RESPIRATORY THERAPISTS.




     WHEREAS, respiratory therapists, otherwise known as respiratory care practitioners, work under the medical direction of physicians and specialize in the evaluation, treatment, and care of people with breathing disorders and work with a wide variety of patients who suffer from conditions resulting from asthma, emphysema, heart failure, stroke, drowning, shock, and other causes; and


     WHEREAS, under the federal Medicare part B program, the physician has a major role in determining utilization of health services furnished by providers, deciding upon admissions, orders tests, drugs, and treatments, and determining the length of stay; and


     WHEREAS, federal Medicare part B conditions Medicare payment upon a physician's certification of the necessity of a provider's services and, in some instances, recertification of the continued need for those services; and


     WHEREAS, Medicare patients purportedly have difficulty gaining access to respiratory therapists working outside of a hospital setting because Medicare requires health care providers to be state-licensed and not all states currently license respiratory therapists, Hawaii being one of only two states that do not; and


     WHEREAS, efforts within the State to regulate the profession have been unsuccessful, and the State Auditor has consistently maintained that regulation of the profession is unwarranted because sufficient protections already exist and regulation would be costly; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-fifth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2010, the Senate concurring, that Hawaii's congressional delegation is requested to support legislation that directly recognizes respiratory therapists as health care providers in the Medicare part B program; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the members of Hawaii's congressional delegation.









Report Title: 

Respiratory Therapists; Federal Recognition