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CPF Submits Comments to CMS to Save Only Effective Therapy Available to PF Patients
Date:8/31/2009

Proposed Medicare Ruling Would End Pulmonary Rehab for Thousands of Dying Patients

SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug. 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, pulmonary fibrosis (PF) patient Ellen Foley went to the pulmonary rehabilitation (rehab) program near her home in Middlesex, N.C. At the same time, the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis (CPF) took a stand for her and thousands of patients like her. Soon, Foley may not be able to go to therapy if the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are successful in pushing forward a proposed ruling regarding pulmonary rehabilitation coverage that would limit coverage and eliminate patients with diseases like Foley's. PF has no treatments and no cure and is a disease that scars the lungs and suffocates its victims. It is almost invariably fatal. Most patients live less than three years and the only affective therapy to help them is pulmonary rehab.

The CMS proposed ruling states "because there is not data to substantiate significantly improved outcomes for any other medical conditions, we are proposing to allow moderate to severe COPD as the only covered condition." There is, in fact, substantial evidence that there is significant benefit to PF patients and patients with other respiratory diseases.

The proposed ruling can be viewed at www.regulations.gov and is file code CMS-1413-P. The docket title is "Medicare Program; Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2010."

With patients, like Foley, in mind, the CPF submitted comments to combat the CMS proposal. "This is a case study in the challenges representative of patients fighting rare diseases like PF. Namely, that healthcare coverage for those with rare diseases like PF is materially and negatively impacted largely due to the size
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SOURCE Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis
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