Sebastian, FL -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/16/2014 -- Approximately 10 million Americans and more than 100 million people all over the world suffer from lymphedema. It is a painful and chronic swelling of the lymph nodes which may possibly have an impact on as much as 70 percent of women who have surgery or received chemotherapy for breast cancer. Men who have went have underwent prostate cancer surgery may experience it as well.
The condition occurs when the lymphatic system becomes damaged or blocked, causing fluid build-up in soft body tissues. It creates swelling and when left untreated, can lead to devastating physical effects. Lymphedema is rarely discussed by physicians and can sometimes be ignored, frequently misdiagnosed and may go untreated. At present, there is no cure for the said condition, but it can be treated.
Nowadays, Medicare does not cover the expense of many compression supplies and extended therapeutic treatments necessary for the condition’s management. Several private insurance providers are starting to adopt the trend, and are now implementing the exclusion of this type of coverage. The situation caused a lot of cancer survivors to either pay for their excessive medical bills. Unfortunately, some who are unable to pay have no choice left but to endure infections which can lead to disability or death.
Kathleen Sebelius, Health and Human Services Secretary, discussed about Medicare’s coverage on a hearing held by the House of Representatives last year. She mentioned, “Medicare covers durable pneumatic compressors, referred to as lymphedema pumps, and appliances used in conjunction with these pumps under the Part B benefit for durable medical equipment. These equipment and accessories are used to treat lymphedema and are covered because they fall under a defined Medicare benefit category. In order for items to be covered by Medicare, they must meet the definition of a Medicare-covered benefit defined in the statute. However, it is important to note that although Medicare provides coverage for certain items, it does not provide coverage for every item with potential use for a person with a medical problem even if a physician prescribes the item. Other devices used to treat lymphedema, such as sleeves and stockings, are not covered by Medicare because they do not meet the definition of durable medical equipment or any other Medicare benefit category established by law.”
The Lymphedema Treatment Act, also known as H.R. 3877, was pioneered by Rep. David Reichert. The legislation aims to strengthen insurance coverage for treating lymphedema by simply amending Medicare insurance statute allowing inclusion of compression supplies used in its treatment.
Phil Hall, publisher and editor of Business-Superstar.com, encouraged businesses to support the Lymphedema Treatment Act through a post made on March 2014. He recognized the crucial role of the private sector in spreading awareness of breast cancer and raising funds for its research. Hall expressed, “I am urging business owners to get behind the Lymphedema Treatment Act and to call on their congressional representatives to turn this bill into law. The business community has done an extraordinary job in fighting against breast cancer – it is time to raise the ante and to fight for cancer survivors to get the medical care they need in order to see another day.”
About Academy of Lymphatic Studies
The Academy of Lymphatic Studies provides education and training in Lymphedema Management. It is the leading school in the United States for lymphedema certification training for health care professionals in Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) and Complete Decongestive
Therapy (CDT). The mission of the Academy of Lymphatic Studies is to promote high professional standards and the continuing professional competence of health care practitioners by promoting the quality and integrity of continuing education to practitioners in the field of lymphedema management.