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  • APTA on Capitol Hill to Push for Lymphedema Coverage

    APTA believes Medicare coverage of lymphedema treatment should be expanded, and the association is helping to bring momentum to the issue by participating in a congressional briefing on the condition. The briefing and other activities are part of Lymphedema Lobby Days on Capitol Hill, and are part of a push for a new law that would increase coverage.

    The September 9 briefing seeks to bolster legislator support for the Lymphedema Treatment Act (H.R. 3877), a bill introduced by Rep Dave Reichart (WA-8) that seeks to provide Medicare coverage and payment for lymphedema treatment items and supplies. APTA is a supporter of the bill, and APTA Board of Directors member and lymphedema specialist Nicole Stout, PT, DPT, CLT-LANA is a member of the expert panel speaking at the briefing.

    In a letter to Reichart, APTA President Paul A. Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS, notes that "many of these [lymphedema-related] items and services are either not covered or are only covered on a limited basis. Passage of this legislation would ensure access to these supplies for individuals with lymphatic impairments and conditions." Rockar also points out the crucial role physical therapists play in the treatment of lymphedema and in patient education on how to avoid injury and infection, improve skin care, and modify diet to decrease fluid retention.

    APTA staff will monitor the progress of the bill and update members with news and opportunities for advocacy.

    Comments

    • Thank god for this. Please let me know how to support this as a lymphedema therapist.

      Posted by milka thoresen on 9/10/2014 3:21 PM

    • This bill could also increase Lymphedema awareness as well as Lymphedema patients getting the care they need.

      Posted by Willadean Clowe on 11/9/2015 12:39 PM

    • As a lymphedema patient currently working, a lot of my treatment is not covered especially to allow me to continue working as a RN. Also the problem is that some treatment for ex. special garments do not have a code to be recognized by ins companies so it's not covered. The out of pocket is a great burden on myself and my family!

      Posted by Gina visgaitis on 4/12/2017 10:57 PM

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