Call to Action on Oxygen Access, COPD10usa, COPD National Action Plan
Time Sensitive Call to Action: 
Collecting Oxygen Access Issues
The U.S. COPD Coalition and our member organizations have been following a disturbing trend  related to supplemental oxygen access. Since major changes in oxygen reimbursement have been implemented, patients have reported a wide variety of issues including difficulty gaining access to equipment that facilitates mobility, service issues, delivery times and more. A recent American Thoracic Society-led survey and workshop explored these issues further and multiple policy-focused efforts are underway to address the need for improved access to durable medical equipment, including oxygen. 
One such effort includes a study being led by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to document issues experienced in the rural areas of the country that may have been impacted by new payment reductions in 2016. In order to ensure the voice of the COPD community is adequately represented in the GAO's efforts, the U.S. COPD Coalition is requesting your help in identifying and recording any examples of oxygen access problems in the communities you serve, particularly if they are occurring in rural areas that were not previously part of the competitive bidding system.
If you are aware of such issues, please let us know by replying to "" by Monday, July 10th. If you have a social media network or other ways of reaching out to patients and providers, please consider asking them a simple question: "Are you now, or have you in the past, experienced difficulty in getting supplemental oxygen equipment that meets your clinical needs without restricting your activity levels? If so, please explain".  

If the patients and providers are willing to report these issues more formally, the COPD Information Line (866-316-COPD (2673)) has trained individuals available to help them complete a thorough survey and connect with the Medicare complaint line so that these issues can be formally documented.
It is our hope that the GAO study will produce valuable information that shines a much needed light on the serious issues facing oxygen users in the lung disease community. We appreciate your help in ensuring their voice is counted.

COPD10USA Is Almost Here!

With the release of the COPD National Action Plan in May, the time is right to come together as a community to learn, share, network and plan. COPD10usa is a unique conference devoted exclusively to COPD, with world-class experts, researchers and clinicians and patients talking about the latest in COPD. The two-day conference is taking place July 28-29, 2017 in Chicago and offers:
  • Updates and next steps on the newly released COPD National Action Plan, the country's first-ever road map for addressing COPD.
  • A Celebration of Life to honor the heart of the COPD Foundation - Founder John W. Walsh
  • Plenary sessions on defining early COPD, interdisciplinary perspectives on care delivery, what we know about reducing avoidable readmissions and the future of COPD care.
  • Breakout sessions on clinical trials and PCORI research, genetic factors and Alpha-1, asthma, environmental factors including e-cigarettes, surveillance in COPD, exacerbations, improving adherence and addressing comorbidities. Sessions will also be devoted to case study review and discussion.  
  • A session strand devoted specifically to topics of interest to the patient and caregiver communities, including COPD101 and patient-centered research.
  • New - an Innovation Track, offering insight into the use of predictive analytics, digital health tools and wearables designed to equip both patients and providers with the data necessary to improve lives.
To learn more and to register for the conference, please visit  This year in recognition of the need to support a new generation of pulmonary specialists, all healthcare professionals in training attend for free. U.S. COPD Coalition partners wishing to attend may be eligible for a discount if the registration fee is a barrier to attendance. Email if you would like to request a discount code. 

COPD National Action Plan Released
U.S. COPD Coalition members applaud the release of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institutes's COPD National Action Plan.  Coalition partners played a key role in the development of the plan and were present at its unveiling at the American Thoracic Society's conference in Washington, DC on May 23rd.  
"Sixteen million Americans have been diagnosed with COPD and many more have the condition but don't know it," says Timothy Myers, MBA, RRT-NPS, FAARC, who attended the event on behalf of the American Association for Respiratory Care. "This action plan addresses many of their unmet needs in a systematic fashion and will assist clinicians and researchers working to address those needs."
Alpha-1 Foundation President and CEO Henry R. Moehring also attended the Action Plan's launch. Moehring praised the collaborative approach used in developing the document. "The Alpha-1 Foundation is grateful to the NHLBI for leading the effort to draft this plan and appreciates being included as a stakeholder in the process...The patient voice is strong in this document. We participated in the Town Hall, submitted comments and questions, and attended meetings with NHLBI. The plan reflects the voice of our community."
The U.S. COPD Coalition and it member organizations will continue to work hard to achieve the goals set forth in the Action Plan. Stay tuned for more information in the coming months.

U.S. COPD Coalition partners will be invited to participate in a special roundtable breakfast discussion on July 28th before COPD10usa kicks off to discuss the COPD National Action Plan and early priorities for implementation.
Dates and News of Interest

AARC Congress 2017 - The American Association for Respiratory Care will be holding its 2017 International Respiratory Convention and Exhibition on October 4 -7 in Indianapolis. IN. The convention features four days of lectures by internationally renowned physicians, respiratory therapists and researchers. 

Chest 2017 to be held in Toronto - The American College of Chest Physicians will hold their annual conference,  Chest 2017, October 28 - November 1, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

U.S. COPD Coalition's Virtual Meeting - Keep your eye out for an announcement about the U.S. COPD Coalition's virtual meeting, which will be held in April.  Date to be decided.


If you have news or events to share with Coalition members, email