We need your help! Are you ready to take action?
We are asking for your help to STOP a Medicare policy proposal that could potentially change how you receive prosthetic care. Medicare has released a Draft Policy for Medicare’s Local Coverage Determination (LCD) Article on Lower Limb Prostheses. This proposal would negatively impact amputees all across the U.S. and create new obstacles that would limit or deny access to heatlthcare, including:
If you use a cane, crutch or walker, your ability to obtain higher quiality prosthetics will be limited.
Your medical team may no longer be able to choose the prosthesis that is best for you.
Medicare will no longer consider your potential functional abilities with an appropriate device when determining your prosthetic needs.
Limiting access to advanced technology that best meets your individual needs.
You could be provided a less functional prosthesis, or denied a device if: you DO NOT attain the “appearance of a natural gait”, or your medical record references certain health complications.
The Medicare proposal redefines the rehabilitation process by forcing the use of out-of-date technology.
When voicing your opinion on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram use the hashtag #NotALuxury.
Sign The Petition
A petition to the White House has been started to seek awareness about the proposed Medicare changes. This is an important first step. The White House needs to understand how many people this impacts. The petition needs 100,000 signatures by August 31st to get a response from the White House. So please tell your family and friends to sign it today!
Anyone can sign it. You don't have to be an amputee to understand how these same tactics could be used to deny care to anyone in the future.
The Orthothic & Prosthetic Alliance has set up a general web page (SaveProsthetics.org) that is a good resource for this issue. The O&P alliance is a leadership team that represents all of our professional organizations including the Amputee Coalition. They are experts with legislative and regulatory issues that affect amputees, people using prosthetics and the professionals that provide orthotics and prosthetics.
They have created a central command resource (SaveProsthetics.org) that can provide a one stop resource for this project.
Post a Flyer for Everyone to See. Print this out, it should be displayed anywhere that will allow it! Anyone can sign the petition.
Mail in a Petition. Print this out, sign it and mail it in.
The Amputee Coalition is the largest representative organization of amputees in the world. They have a great website with numerous resources for amputees. They have created a special page for this paramount issue.
Write a Letter
Got something to say? Write a letter and send it by August 31st to Stacy Brennan, M.D. at Medicare. Here are some tips on writing an effective letter that will get attention:
Write a personal story. Describe how these general changes will relate to you personally. Try to limit it to one page. You want someone to actually read it, but you also want to get your point across. Write a strong subject or title that summarizes the story you are telling. This will help set the stage. It will help you stay focused on the overall theme.
Finally, it will also help with Google searches if you choose to post it online or at the Amputee Coalition's website.
Examples would be:
RE: My vacuum socket has increased my comfort; so I wear my leg more, and am more active.
Title: I am extremely active, but sometimes have bad days and use a cane or crutches.
Subject: I have been an amputee for many years and feel I have kept up with my daily activities because of evolving technologies.
Falls, stumbles, wearing time, increases in daily activity and increased walking speed are very important to proving effectiveness and reducing healthcare costs, so try to work in one or all of those themes, but only if applicable. Also, if a new prosthesis has helped you lose weight, reduce your blood pressure or heart rate or decreased your medication use (because you are more active) please be sure to include that. It is not necessary to exaggerate, just tell your story.
Sign a Template Letter
Do you want to help but don't know exactly what to say? Go to these websites and fill out your information and a template letter will be sent to the appropriate people.
AOPA Letter. The American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association has a template letter you can sign.
Amputee Coalition Letter. The Amputee Coalition is the largest representative organization of amputees in the world.
Mobility Saves Study
Study Finds: Using Prosthetics and Orthotics Reduces Healthcare Costs. Medicare’s own data demonstrates cost savings. Patients who received orthotic or prosthetic services have lower or comparable Medicare costs than patients who need, but do not receive these services.