Dear friends of NLN,
This is a historic time for the lymphedema community nationwide.
Our lymphedema diagnosis and treatment bill has been given a bill number and was introduced on February 23 by Congressman Larry Kissell of North Carolina in the House of Representatives as H.R. 4662, the "Lymphedema Diagnosis and Treatment Cost Saving Act of 2010."
The bill was written by NLN Legislative Advocate Bob Weiss. During the last 6 weeks he has worked closely with a Congressional Legislative Counsel and Congressman Kissell to re-work the text. At the same time we owe Heather Ferguson, the young mom from North Carolina, a HUGE thank you! If you recall, she was instrumental in securing the coverage for treatment of LE in NC, and convinced Congressman Kissell to sponsor this bill. It shows what dedicated individuals can accomplish!
The bill has the goal of reducing total healthcare costs through avoidance of periodic infections, pain and disabilities resulting from this medical condition. Specific goals of the bill are:
* 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.
I encourage you to contact your local Representatives and Senators. Urge them to co-sponsor H.R. 4662 and to introduce a similar bill in the Senate. Stress the fact that this bill is projected to save hundreds of millions of dollars every year in avoidance of costs of treating preventable lymphedema-related cellulitis. This is a quality of care issue affecting insured patients and is complementary to healthcare access issues. Time is of the essence for you who have had difficulty in obtaining proper treatment for your LE. We may never have a better opportunity!
You may find your Congressional representatives by going to http://www.contactingthecongress.org and entering your address.
Please forward the NLN office email@example.com the name and contact information of your representative and we will also sent a letter to him/her and copy you on the correspondence.
If you have any questions or comments please contact Bob or Saskia.
Now is the time for you to take ACTION and show your SUPPORT.
Respectfully submitted,Saskia R.J. Thiadens R.N.