Federal Lymphedema Treatment Bill

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Feb 28, 2010, 8:22:01 AM2/28/10
to All About Lymphedema
Dear friends of NLN,

This is a historic time for the lymphedema community nationwide.

Our lymphedema diagnosis and treatment bill has been given a bill
number and was
introduced on February 23 by Congressman Larry Kissell of North
Carolina in the
House of Representatives as H.R. 4662, the "Lymphedema Diagnosis and
Cost Saving Act of 2010."

The bill was written by NLN Legislative Advocate Bob Weiss. During the
last 6
weeks he has worked closely with a Congressional Legislative Counsel
Congressman Kissell to re-work the text. At the same time we owe
Ferguson, the young mom from North Carolina, a HUGE thank you! If you
she was instrumental in securing the coverage for treatment of LE in
NC, and
convinced Congressman Kissell to sponsor this bill. It shows what
individuals can accomplish!

The bill has the goal of reducing total healthcare costs through
avoidance of
periodic infections, pain and disabilities resulting from this medical

Specific goals of the bill are:

to provide diagnosis and treatment of individuals with and at risk for
lymphedema according to current medical treatment standards, including
lymph drainage, compression bandages, garments, devices, and exercise;
to enhance quality of lymphedema patient care by providing therapist
qualification requirements; to provide for lymphedema patient
education in the procedures for self-treatment so as to transfer the
treatment from the clinical to the home setting;
to encourage patient self-treatment plan adherence by providing
medical supplies for use at home; to expand patient access to
qualified lymphedema therapy by extending coverage to qualified,
trained lymphedema therapists who may practice under a qualified
physician, physical therapist or occupational therapist.

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.
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 LE. We may
never have
a better opportunity!

You may find your Congressional representatives by going to
http://www.contactingthecongress.org and entering your address.

Please forward the NLN office n...@lymphnet.org the name and contact
of your representative and we will also sent a letter to him/her and
copy you on
the correspondence.

If you have any questions or comments please contact Bob or Saskia.

Now is the time for you to take ACTION and show your SUPPORT.
Respectfully submitted,

Saskia R.J. Thiadens R.N.
Executive Director
National Lymphedema Network

Robert "Bob" Weiss, MS
Chair, NLN Legislative Committee
National Lymphedema Network

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