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April 24th 2015

As healthcare costs and hospital readmissions continue to rise, the field of respiratory care has begun to embrace the advantages of home care solutions for chronic lung patients.

Partial article courtesy of


The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is prompting a number of healthcare reforms, one of which is a shift in focus from treatment to prevention. This changing model emphasizes outpatient care. While hospitalizations will never be eliminated altogether, the trend toward shorter lengths of stay is becoming the norm with a greater emphasis on home care.

In an attempt to reduce costs, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has implemented a hospital readmission reduction program (HRRP) that will assess penalties when patients return to the hospital within 30 days for certain diagnoses, one of which is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This program aims to motivate healthcare facilities to ensure better home care and presents an opportunity for respiratory health professionals.

From admission to discharge, patients typically require some type of respiratory care. For those with chronic lung conditions, planning for discharge and subsequent home care should begin upon admission, according to Dom Coppolo, vice president of clinical development at Monaghan Medical Corp. While hospitalized, patients should receive efficient, high quality care to turn the disease state around quickly and reduce length of stay.

“A respiratory therapist can add a tremendous amount of value to that process. Their involvement is key to the continuity of care, such as pulmonary rehab, follow-up, and monitoring home care as part of a program,” said Coppolo.

Meet our Licensed Respiratory Therapists at Legacy.