Posts Tagged ‘Ron Paul’

Medicare Lymphedema Treatment Bill Introduced

H.R. 4662, “Lymphedema Diagnosis and Treatment Cost Saving Act of 2010,” was recently introduced in the Senate by Congressman Larry Kissell of North Carolina.  Ron Paul (R-TX14) was the first co-sponsor of the bill.  Phil Roe (R-TN1) is the second.

Please urge your local Congressmen and Senators to support this bill. Lymphedema is treatable, but proper treatment is extensive.  Passage of this bill would allow for many people to receive treatment for services that would not otherwise be covered by insurance.  When Medicare makes a change, private insurance companies usually follow suit.

Specific goals of the bill include:

  • to provide diagnosis and treatment of individuals with and at risk for lymphedema according to current medical treatment standards, including manual lymph drainage, compression bandages, garments, devices, and exercise
  • to enhance quality of lymphedema patient care by providing therapist qualification requirements
  • to provide for lymphedema patient education in the procedures for self-treatment so as to transfer the treatment from the clinical to the home setting
  • to encourage patient self-treatment plan adherence by providing necessary medical supplies for use at home
  • to expand patient access to qualified lymphedema therapy by extending coverage to qualified, trained lymphedema therapists who may practice under a qualified physician, physical therapist or occupational therapist.

Yes!  When this passes, lymphedema management at AMMA (manual lymph drainage, combined decongestive therapy, bandages & exercises) will be covered by insurance!

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As requested, we have included sample letters below.  You are welcome to use them as a blueprint for letters or emails to your Representatives and Senators. These letters only represent suggested verbiage. Please feel free to customize your letter in any way.

The bill is currently in the United States House of Representatives.  We have included two letters to representatives.  If you are a resident of Tennessee’s District 1, the please use the letter below to thank Representative Phil Roe for already taking action on the bill by becoming a co-sponsor.  If you are not one of Representative Roe’s constituents, please use the Congress Letter.  Next, please urge your state Senators to introduce and support a similar bill in the United States Senate.  A sample Senate Letter is also included.

Don’t know how to contact your Representatives?  Not even sure who they are?  Just enter your zip code to find out at http://www.contactingthecongress.org/.  It will link you to a page listing both your state senators and your district representatives to Congress.  From there, you may contact them via fax, phone, email or snail mail.

Sample Letter to Representative Roe:

Dear Representative Roe,

As your constituent, I am writing to thank you for signing on as a co-sponsor of H.R. 4662, the “Lymphedema Diagnosis and Treatment Cost Saving Act of 2010,” introduced by Congressman Larry Kissell on February 23, 2010. [Please list your credentials (if any) and any personal experience you may have with lymphedema (if any). Do you struggle with lymphedema? Does your mother? Son? Best friend? Are you a cancer survivor?]

Lymphedema is a medical condition affecting an estimated 2 million Medicare Beneficiaries. Secondary lymphedema sometimes results from surgery and curative radiation. H.R. 4662 is projected to save hundreds of millions of tax-payer dollars every year in avoidance of costs of treating preventable lymphedema-related cellulitis. This act will reduce Medicare costs while improving patient care and quality of life. It will also expand patient access to qualified lymphedema therapy by extending coverage to qualified, specially trained lymphedema therapists who may practice under a qualified physician, physical therapist or occupational therapist.

The clinically-proven treatment of lymphedema is called “complex decongestive therapy” and includes manual lymph drainage, appropriate bandaging and compression garments, specific therapeutic exercises and proper skin care. It is used world-wide by the medical community, is not experimental and has decades of proven success. Unfortunately, not all components of this treatment fall under categories for which Medicare or private insurance companies typically provide coverage. With treatment, a patient lives a long, healthy and virtually normal life. But without treatment, the disease can grow progressively worse, skyrocketing medical costs with hospitalizations and causing severe disfigurement, disability, pain, and in some cases even results in death.

Medicare has no requirement for special lymphedema training or competence on the part of the therapists treating lymphedema patients. Compression garments are a crucial part of treatment, yet insurance covers a fraction of the cost of both the garments and the treatments. Medicare does not cover the supplies and garments at all, despite a recent AHQR review that included garment use as standard treatment of this condition.

Thank you again for joining Representatives Larry Kissell (D-NC8) and Ron Paul (R-TX14) in publicly supporting this bill as a co-sponsor. “The Lymphedema Diagnosis and Treatment Cost Savings Act of 2010” will change lives.

Sincerely,

(Your Name)
(include your address here, even if you’re sending this by email)

Sample Congress Letter:

Dear Representative [Name],

As your constituent, I am writing to urge you to sign on as a primary or co-sponsor of H.R. 4662, the “Lymphedema Diagnosis and Treatment Cost Saving Act of 2010,” introduced by Congressman Larry Kissell on February 23, 2010. [Please list your credentials (if any) and any personal experience you may have with lymphedema (if any). Do you struggle with lymphedema? Does your mother? Son? Best friend? Are you a cancer survivor?]

As you may be unfamiliar with the disease, here is a link from the Lance Armstrong Foundation that explains the condition and its treatment: http://www.livestrong.org/site/c.khLXK1PxHmF/b.2660675/k.9471/Physical_Effects_Lymphedema.htm

Lymphedema is a medical condition affecting an estimated 2 million Medicare Beneficiaries. Secondary lymphedema sometimes results from surgery and curative radiation. H.R. 4662 is projected to save hundreds of millions of tax-payer dollars every year in avoidance of costs of treating preventable lymphedema-related cellulitis. This act will reduce Medicare costs while improving patient care and quality of life. It will also expand patient access to qualified lymphedema therapy by extending coverage to qualified, specially trained lymphedema therapists who may practice under a qualified physician, physical therapist or occupational therapist.

The clinically-proven treatment of lymphedema is called “complex decongestive therapy” and includes manual lymph drainage, appropriate bandaging and compression garments, specific therapeutic exercises and proper skin care. It is used world-wide by the medical community, is not experimental and has decades of proven success. Unfortunately, not all components of this treatment fall under categories for which Medicare or private insurance companies typically provide coverage. With treatment, a patient lives a long, healthy and virtually normal life. But without treatment, the disease can grow progressively worse, skyrocketing medical costs with hospitalizations and causing severe disfigurement, disability, pain, and in some cases even results in death.

Medicare has no requirement for special lymphedema training or competence on the part of the therapists treating lymphedema patients. Compression garments are a crucial part of treatment, yet insurance covers a fraction of the cost of both the garments and the treatments. Medicare does not cover the supplies and garments at all, despite a recent AHQR review that included garment use as standard treatment of this condition.

Please join Representatives Larry Kissell (D-NC8), Ron Paul (R-TX14), and Phil Roe (R-TN1) by publicly supporting this bill as a primary or co-sponsor. For additional information or to (co)sponsor this bill, contact Zach Pfister in Congressman Kissell’s office at zach.pfister@mail.house.gov or 202-225-3715.

Thank you for your help.

Sincerely,

(Your Name)
(include your address here, even if you’re sending this by email)

Sample Senate Letter:

Dear Senator [Name],

Congressman Larry Kissel of North Carolina is Sponsoring H.R. 4662, the “Lymphedema Diagnosis and Treatment Cost Saving Act of 2010.” This bill is projected to save hundreds of millions of tax-payer dollars every year by providing treatment to avoid preventable lymphedema-related complications. As your constituent, I urge you to sponsor an identical bill in the Senate.

[Please list your credentials (if any) and any personal experience you may have with lymphedema (if any).  Do you struggle with lymphedema?  Does your mother?  Son? Best friend?   Are you a cancer survivor?]

As you may be unfamiliar with the disease, here is a link from the Lance Armstrong Foundation that explains the condition and its treatment: http://www.livestrong.org/site/c.khLXK1PxHmF/b.2660675/k.9471/Physical_Effects_Lymphedema.htm

Lymphedema is a medical condition affecting an estimated 2 million Medicare Beneficiaries. Secondary lymphedema sometimes results from surgery and curative radiation. H.R. 4662 is projected to save hundreds of millions of tax-payer dollars every year in avoidance of costs of treating preventable lymphedema-related cellulitis. This act will reduce Medicare costs while improving patient care and quality of life. It will also expand patient access to qualified lymphedema therapy by extending coverage to qualified, specially trained lymphedema therapists who may practice under a qualified physician, physical therapist or occupational therapist.

The clinically-proven treatment of lymphedema is called “complex decongestive therapy” and includes manual lymph drainage, appropriate bandaging and compression garments, specific therapeutic exercises and proper skin care. It is used world-wide by the medical community, is not experimental and has decades of proven success. Unfortunately, not all components of this treatment fall under categories for which Medicare or private insurance companies typically provide coverage. With treatment, a patient lives a long, healthy and virtually normal life. But without treatment, the disease can grow progressively worse, skyrocketing medical costs with hospitalizations and causing severe disfigurement, disability, pain, and in some cases even results in death.

Medicare has no requirement for special lymphedema training or competence on the part of the therapists treating lymphedema patients. Compression garments are a crucial part of treatment, yet insurance covers a fraction of the cost of both the garments and the treatments. Medicare does not cover the supplies and garments at all, despite a recent AHQR review that included garment use as standard treatment of this condition.

I urge you to sponsor a bill in the Senate identical to H.R. 4662, and provide parity and adequate coverage for this disease. For additional information about the House bill, please contact Zach Pfister in Congressman Kissell’s office at zach.pfister@mail.house.gov or 202-225-3715.

Thank you for your help.

Sincerely,

(Your Name)
(include your address here, even if you’re sending this by email)