Please Help Us Take Action
We are asking for your help to STOP a Medicare policy proposal that could potentially change how you receive prosthetic care. Medicare has released a Draft Policy for Medicare’s Local Coverage Determination (LCD) Article on Lower Limb Prostheses. This proposal would negatively impact amputees all across the U.S. and create new obstacles that would limit or deny access to healthcare, including:
- If you use a cane, crutch or walker your ability to obtain higher quality prosthetics will be limited.
- Your medical team and you may no longer be able to choose the prosthesis best for you.
- Medicare will no longer consider your potential functional abilities with an appropriate device when determining your prosthetic needs.
- Limiting access to advanced technology that best meets your individual needs.
- You could be provided a less functional prosthesis, or denied a device if: you DO NOT attain the “appearance of a natural gait”, or your medical record references certain health complications.
- The Medicare proposal redefines the rehabilitation process by forcing the use of out-of-date technology.
When voicing your opinion on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram use #NotALuxury
Amputee Coalition Medicare Resource Page. The Amputee coalition the largest representative organization of amputees in the world. They have a great website with nuetral resources for amputees. They have created a special page for this paramount issue and they have designed consumer templates for letters to CMS as well as members of Congress. Their system allows you to send the letters automatically to CMS or your member of Congress and/or US Senators. They specialize in the consumer voice on issues important to the limb loss community.
The Orthothic & Prosthetic Alliance has set-up a general web page (SaveProsthetics.org) that is good resource for this issue. The O&P alliance is a leadership team that represents all of our professional organizations. They are experts with legislative and regulatory issues that effect amputees, people using prosthetics and the professionals that provide orthotics and prosthetics. They have created a central command resource (SaveProsthetics.org) that can provide a one stop resource for this project.
Write a Letter
Got something to say? Write a letter and send it by August 31st to Stacy Brennan, M.D. at Medicare. Here are some tips on writing an effective letter that will get attention:
Write a personal story. How these general changes will relate to you personally. Try to limit it to one page. You want someone to actually read it, but also want to get your point across. Write a strong regarding, subject or title that summarizes the story you are telling. This will help set the stage. It will help you stay focused on the overall theme. Finally, It will also help with searches like google if you chose to post it online or at the Amputee Coalition’s website. Examples would be:
- RE: My vacuum socket has increased my comfort; so I wear my leg more, and am more active.
- Title: I am extremely active, but sometimes have bad days and use a cane or crutches.
- Subject: I have been an amputee for many years and feel I have kept up with my daily activities because of evolving technologies.
Falls, stumbles, wearing time, increases in daily activity and increased walking speed are very important to proving effectiveness and reducing healthcare costs, so try to work in one or all of those themes, but only if applicable. Also, if a new prosthesis has helped you lose weight, reduce your blood pressure or heart rate or decreased your medication use (because you are more active) please be sure to include that. It is not necessary to exaggerate, just tell your story.
Sign a Template Letter
Want to help but don’t know exactly what to say? Go to these websites and fill out your information and a templated letter will be sent to the appropriate people.
Mobility Saves Study
Study Finds: Using Prosthetics and Orthotics Reduces Healthcare Costs. Medicare’s own data demonstrates cost savings. Patients who received orthotic or prosthetic services have lower or comparable Medicare costs than patients who need, but do not receive these services.
Sign The Petition
A petition to the White House was started to seek awareness about the proposed Medicare changes. This important first step has SUCCEEDED! The White House needs to understand many people this impacts. The petition needed 100,000 signatures by August 31st to get a response from the White House. You can still sign, it. No one really knows what exactly will happen next, and the more people that express a concern the more likely the impact. So please tell your family and friends to sign it today! Anyone can sign it. You don’t have to be an amputee to understand how these same tactics could be used to deny care to anyone in the future.