COPD National Action Plan:
Community Action Tool
Discover the progress the COPD community has made toward implementing the goals and objectives in the COPD National Action Plan.

Campaign to improve Pulmonary Rehabilitation awareness, access and reimbursement


Organization: American Thoracic Society
Start Date: 04/2021
End Date: Ongoing
Primary Goal: Goal 1: Empower people with COPD, their families, and caregivers to recognize and reduce the burden of COPD.
Secondary Goal(s):
  • Goal 2: Improve the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and management of COPD by improving the quality of care delivered across the health care continuum.
  • Increase the effectiveness and variety of outreach communication campaigns and activities that utilize evidence-based approaches to raise awareness of COPD, particularly among those at high risk, and help people diagnosed with COPD manage the disease
  • Expand opportunities to increase COPD awareness across the public-private spectrum
  • Develop, disseminate, and maintain unified, multidisciplinary, and patient-centric national guidelines for COPD that are accessible and easy to follow
  • Improve access to care for people with COPD, particularly for those in hard-to reach areas
Collaboration: American Thoracic Society, American College of Chest Physicians, American Association for Respiratory Care, American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, American Lung Association, American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, Right2Breath, Pulmonary Education and Research Foundation, COPD Foundation, US COPD Coalition, LAM Foundation, Grace Anne Dorney Foundation, Alpha 1 Foundation, Allergy and Asthma Network, Lung Transplant Foundation, PHAware, Respiratory Compromise Institute, and Respiratory Health Association
Activity Type: Patient education, Event, Campaign, Health care delivery, Provider education, Policy/advocacy

Activity Description

The American Thoracic Society (ATS) Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) Assembly Reimbursement Work Group, in collaboration with 18 national pulmonary societies is campaigning to improve Pulmonary Rehabilitation awareness, access and ultimately lay the foundation for improved payment. Our focus is to alert patients, providers and payers of the multi-dimensional benefits of PR. The impetus for this effort is based on the recent demonstration by Lindenauer and colleagues JAMA 2020 May 12;323(18):1813-1823.of a substantial survival benefit for COPD patients who received PR after a hospitalization for exacerbation. Campaign efforts to date include a national social media campaign and communications support by collaborative societies.


General Audience: Patients, At-risk populations, Health professionals, Policymakers/advocates
Focused Audience: n/a
Program Reach: National
Type of Area: Urban, Suburban, Rural
Setting: Community, Health care, Home, Online

Cost and Funding Sources

Activity is from volunteers and ATS staff efforts. The is no specific budget beyond that allocated to the ATS pulmonary rehabilitation assembly.

Impact Analysis

Participation of the 19 partner societies in outreach including a national social media campaign providing relevant information to the society's members and followers.

Advice or Lessons Learned

Involving all key players and societies including patient and legislative representatives and experts has strengthened the process.

Contact Information

Judy Corn MS, Senior Director, Patient Education and Documents
American Thoracic Society
Senior Director, ATS Patient Education and Documents; member, ATS US Pulmonary Rehabilitation Reimbursement Work Group
New York
New York