Lymphedema Diagnosis and Treatment Cost Saving Act of 2010

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Lymphedema Diagnosis and Treatment Cost Saving Act of 2010

Postby jenjay » Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:17 pm

:D Greetings – it is my great pleasure to let you know that yesterday the Lymphedema Diagnosis and Treatment Cost Saving Act of 2010 was introduced by my Congressman, Larry Kissell, and assigned the number HR 4662. In the near future I will be in contact with additional information, asking that you please write your Congressperson urging him/her to co-sponsor this important legislation. To read the bill and related information (now, or at any time in the future) you can visit the Library of Congress at; select search by bill number and enter HR 4662 in the box.

Some background information about me and how this bill came about follows:
My name is Heather Ferguson and I have a three year old little boy named Dylan who was born with primary lymphedema, which is the result of missing or impaired lymph nodes and/or lymph vessels. Millions of Americans suffer from lymphedema. The majority of these individuals have lymphedema resulting from cancer or cancer treatment. This secondary lymphedema occurs when lymph vessels are damaged or lymph nodes are removed.
Like so many other lymphedema sufferers, I have had to fight our insurance company for coverage of my son’s compression garments. In 2009 I worked with my State Representative, Tricia Cotham, and we passed a mandate requiring all insurers in North Carolina to cover lymphedema treatment beginning January 1, 2010. (You can read more about how I achieved that at Virginia has also had a lymphedema mandate in effect since 2004.
However, state mandates do nothing for lymphedema sufferers in other states, nor do they afford coverage to Medicare recipients in their own states. Since this is a nation-wide problem a nation-wide solution is needed. Therefore, late last year I sought out my Congressman, Larry Kissell. After meeting with him and sharing my personal saga along with a plethora of information from the National Lymphedema Network, he soon decided to become the sponsor of The Lymphedema Diagnosis and Treatment Cost Saving Act of 2010.
This act aims to amend current Medicare policy and ensure that all American (with insurance - private or public) receive coverage for the treatment of lymphedema. This act will actually reduce Medicare costs while improving patient care and quality of life. Currently, Medicare and some private insurance companies do not offer complete coverage for this disease. These policies only cover the expensive, difficult to treat and often chronic complications which are the inevitable result of patients having not received the proper medical care in the earlier stages. Such policies are falling short of providing these individuals treatment in accordance with established standards of care and lead to the expenditure of immense amounts of precious healthcare resources to treat preventable lymphedema-related cellulitis.
As the mother of a child with lymphedema I cannot begin to express the relief I would feel knowing my son could not be denied the treatment coverage he needs to live an otherwise healthy and normal life. Before embarking on the pursuit of state legislation, and now this federal legislation, I spent countless frustrating hours appealing my insurance company’s denials to no avail. I shudder to think at all the time and energy my son will have to spend fighting for coverage over his lifetime if this bill is not passed into law. Not to mention the far worse possibility of having to go without treatment if our family, or later himself as an adult, were unable to pay out of pocket.
If passed, this legislation will be life changing, and in some cases even life saving, to lymphedema sufferers nation-wide, and will ensure that no (insured) American is ever denied the lymphedema treatment coverage they so desperately need and deserve.
Please feel free to contact me at
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