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Joachim Zuther, Lymphedema Specialist. Read more
Lohmann Rauscher
MediUSA

Tactile Medical

Another important H.R. 4662 Update

I would like to share with you a letter from Larry Kissell, the Congressman from North Carolina who introduced H.R. 4662, Lymphedema Diagnosis and Treatment Cost Saving Act of 2010 to all members of the Lymphedema community (see below).

Thank you Congressman Kissell, and congratulations on getting re-elected on November 2!

Here is a quick update on the status of the cosponsors for H.R. 4662 following the Nov. 2 election: Of the 53 cosponsors , three did not seek re-election (Peter Hoekstra, Kendrick Meek and Vic Snyder).
Of the remaining 50, five were not re-elected (Michael Arcuri, Rick Boucher, Kathleen Dahlkemper, Frank Kratovil and Dennis Moore).
That means 45 will remain in office for the next Congress.

Due to Congress having been on recess, and everyone’s attention being focused on campaigning before that, it had been some time since the bill picked up more cosponsors.  But yesterday was Congress’s first day back to work and H.R. 4662 gained four new cosponsors in one day!

They are Wm. Lacy Clay (MO-1), Peter DeFazio (OR-4), Stephen Lynch (MA-9) and Adam Schiff (CA-29).   Your emails and phone calls are what make this happen so please keep after your Representative.

I would  like to take this opportunity once more to 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. The current list of  co-sponsors can be viewed here. 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 lymphedema. We may never have a better opportunity!

Please visit the new Lymphedema Treatment Act Website

For suggested content and instructions for sending your letters to Congress,
To view sample letters for sending to your Representative in the House,
To view sample letters for sending to your two Senators, and
For a list of the current members of Congress with email addresses


9/17/2010

Dear Friends:

I wanted to pass along my sincere support of your mission to combat lymphedema. While this unfortunate condition affects so many Americans, many others have little understanding of the condition. I will admit I was one of millions of Americans who did not fully understand lymphedema and how it affects so many families across our country. That all changed when I met Heather Ferguson and her son Dylan, who suffers from primary lymphedema. Heather has devoted her life to this issue so that her son, along with the children, spouses and parents of countless Americans, can rest assured that someday the conditions associated with lymphedema will be fully covered by health insurance and in many cases even prevented.

Heather’s tenacity with this issue resulted in the passage of legislation in North Carolina that requires health insurance companies to cover lymphedema treatment. As many of you may know of Heather, she did not stop there. When we first met, Heather and her colleagues expressed their desire to take this issue to the federal level, beginning with requiring Medicare to offer coverage of lymphedema treatment. Inspired by Heather’s devotion to this cause, I introduced H.R. 4662, Lymphedema Diagnosis and Treatment Cost Saving Act of 2010. This legislation currently has the support and co-sponsorship of many members of Congress, ranging across the ideological scale. We know all too well that this disease knows no age, race, gender or even political party. Every member of Congress has a constituent affected by lymphedema, even if they are currently unaware of who that person is.

Whether I’m traveling through my home of North Carolina, and even occasionally in the halls of Congress, I am often stopped and asked what the butterfly pin on my lapel stands for. I proudly respond with an explanation of my legislation and the unfortunate effects of lymphedema. I wear this pin with deep admiration for those that suffer from lymphedema, and all of the families affected. Please know that I will continue to be your voice in Congress for lymphedema awareness and finding common sense solutions for combating this horrible condition. You should all be proud of your mission. I stand proudly with you.

Sincerely,

Congressman Larry Kissell

8th District, North Carolina

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7 comments to Another important H.R. 4662 Update

  • Judy Bukoski

    Thanks to Congressman Kissell for his efforts in introducing H.R. 4662, Lymphedema Diagnosis and Treatment Cost Saving Act of 2010.
    I am a lymphedema patient and for the past 9 years, I have been unable to get Medicare to provide my support garments. It is my hope that this bill will pass in order that I, and thousands of patients alike, will finally get the coverage we so rightfully deserve.

  • Gayle Brown

    I am so thankful that Lymphedema is being reconized as a disease so unjustly fogotten by insurance companies.
    I beg congress to please support H.R. 4662, the Lymphedema Diagnosis and Treatment Cost Saving Act of 2010. Congress please urge the Senate to introduce a simular bill.
    I need this treatment and care. I have had Lymphedema for 21 years now, although I have only known what my physical problem was for 12 of those years. Since my diagnosis, I have very little medical support, and treatment, and thus my disease has gotten worse. This is a matter of living a heathly, productive, and quality of life. It can distroy a life if not treated.
    PLEASE HELP ALL OF US WHO NEED THIS BILL PASSED.

  • Kristin McCorkle MSPT, CLT

    Unrelated to the H.R. 4662 Update but along the lines of denial of insurance regarding Lymphedema compression garments…I am a CLT that has been attempting to get custom Elvarex compression for a patient of mine approved from Medicaid. We were originally denied because they wanted us to try a less costly alternative, which the patient tried and failed twice with the Juxta Lite. We are now in the process of re-appealing Medicaid after the failed attempt with the less expensive alternative although Medicaid is requesting documentation to support the specific benefit of the more costly Elvarex garment material. They agree the patient requires custom compression but are unwilling to approve the costly Elvarex material without documentation from a non-Jobst publication. They have relayed that the Jobst articles are not sufficient enough. Are there any articles to support the benefits of the Elvarex material? If any one has any suggestions I would appreciate it! Thanks!

  • Amy Colt

    thanks!!very helpful post!

  • Tillman Bonsty

    Keep up the great work!I like http://www.lymphedemablog.com !

  • nydia

    Thank you so much for caring for us lymphedema patients. Though awareness of this disease has improved 100 % in the past 25 years it is still a mystery to many people why our limbs are swollen. Both my arms have lymphedema due to breast cancer, but I am a 25 year survivor who is very grateful for every day I’m given. Let us all contact our congressmen and senators so this bill is re-introduced and voted upon, so us seniors can live in peace knowing our medical needs are cared for.