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Joachim Zuther, Lymphedema Specialist. Read more
Lohmann Rauscher

Tactile Medical

Recertification for Certified Lymphedema Therapists (CLT)


I would like to share with you the important announcement of two member schools of the North American Lymphedema Education Association (NALEA) to begin offering recertification for the Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT) credential.

One of the currently four NALEA member schools, the Dr. Vodder School, already has a well-established recertification program for their graduates. Now, the Academy of Lymphatic Studies and the Norton School of Lymphatic Therapy will also offer this added measure to insure continued competency in the theory and techniques of lymphedema therapy.

The mission of NALEA and its member schools is to ensure the quality of education and the protection of patients in the field of lymphedema management. NALEA is committed to establishing and maintaining the highest standards in lymphedema education and to uphold and strengthen the skills and knowledge base of trained lymphedema therapists in North America.
The decision by two additional NALEA member schools to implement a recertification program is based upon an important 2012 NALEA survey conducted by the American Lymphedema Framework Project (ALFP). In this survey the vast majority of LANA recognized CLT’s supported this advancement.
imagesAs the ranks of specialists grow and the field further defines itself by proving superior clinical outcomes in the evidence–based literature, it is ever more important that competency is demonstrated to support continuation of Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) as the gold standard method.

As of January 14, 2015 both schools will begin offering the recertification program to CLT’s with a valid license.

Recertification by these schools is provided in an online format consisting of several modules or segments; these modules furnish a combination of basic and advanced theoretical information relevant to the CLT profession and hands-on techniques, which are provided in video format. Hands-on video formats offer a review of the basic techniques of Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD), to include combination techniques, as well as a review of treatment sequences for lymphedema, bandaging and garment measuring techniques.
These recertification programs also greatly serve to refresh all theoretical and hands-on skills for lymphedema therapists.

For more information, please visit the recertification website
by clicking below


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2 comments to Recertification for Certified Lymphedema Therapists (CLT)

  • Karen Kaiser

    I’m so confused. My background is massage therapy for 25 years. In 2010 I became certified lymphedema therapist and I absolutely love the field. I worked in our rehab department for three years until they informed me that Medicare would not cover me regarding my background. I had to be an OT, OTA, PT, or PTA. So I started school; but I need to work so I’ve taken a position in our company as a mastectomy fitter now which I am training as a fitter. Would this course up my credentials for Medicare at all? Would LANA? Two years of school for these degrees is going to take me four years to get and I’m 56 years old now. Please give me some advice to stay in the field I love.

    • Joachim Zuther

      Dear Karen: Medicare will only accept billing from PT’s and OT’s. It has always been difficult to receive reimbursement from insurance companies for services MT’s provide. Some states and insurance companies reimburse services provided MT’s, others do not. This is the case for all services provided by Massage Therapists – Swedish massage, Shiatsu, MLD, etc.

      In other words, attending and successfully completing a course in MLD/CDT, certification for compression garment fitting or LANA certification will not change the reality that insurance companies usually do not accept claims submitted by MT’s.
      The current situation is as follows: Due to the current billing and reimbursement issues, most in-and outpatient treatment facilities hire certified lymphedema therapists with a PT, or OT background.
      There is a high demand for certified lymphedema therapists (CLT’s), and the majority of the MT’s we train and certify work on a private pay basis, i.e. lymphedema patients treated by MT/CLT’s are provided with an invoice for the services rendered.
      The patients can then use the invoice and may claim the monetary amount back from their insurance company, provided the patients’ contract with their health insurance companies covers manual treatment techniques.