How Important is HR 2499?

Posted on by Sam

Its Thursday, which means Friday is right around the corner, and the weekend close behind it. While many of us are looking forward to making plans and enjoying the fall weather, there are just as many who are trying to figure out how to reconcile their schedule with their lymphedema therapy and how they will be able to accomplish all they need to get done while wearing bandages or compression garments. There is no cure for lymphedema and it is a disease many will grapple with for life. On top of the physical problems it can cause, there are emotional and certainly financial struggles that occur. Medicare and the majority of private insurance carries do not cover therapy or garments that could significantly help lymphedema patients improve their condition and quality of life. The same as any disease, costs to treat it will add up, and many people are left with no other option but to pay out-of-pocket for medical necessities. HR 2499, or the Lymphedema Diagnosis and Treatment Cost Saving Act, is a bill that will require Medicare to cover diagnosis and treatment of lymphedema. Many private insurance carriers look to Medicare to set a standard. If HR 2499 were to pass, there would likely be an increase in the amount of carriers who would provide coverage. This would mean an incredible amount of relief for lymphedema patients, many of whom are no doubt wondering how to cover the cost of their treatment. Susan Reimer with the Baltimore Sun wrote a very moving article highlighting a woman named Tia Neale, a breast cancer survivor who was blindsided when diagnosed with lymphedema. She and her therapist, Maureen McBeth, talk about how difficult it is to find the resources and the funds to help patients manage the disease and how HR 2499 could lift those worries.

We have posted a link to the Lymphedema Treatment Act‘s website before, but here it is again for those of you who may not be familiar with it. Through the Lymphedema Treatment Act’s website you can find information on how to get involved, such as volunteering, lobbying, or contacting your representatives.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to How Important is HR 2499?

  1. lee hoffman says:

    Medicare does currently cover, in part, CLT, and even will cover the cost of a sequential compression pump, if required. What it does not cover in any way are the compression bandages, compression garments, or nighttime garments such as the Tribute. And, without these items the treatment will be for naught and will ultimately end up costing Medicare more in the hospitalizations for the resulting infections that could have been prevented if the patient had received the compression garments at the end of treatment. At the very least, without the garments the patient will end up returning frequently for additional therapy. It just makes sense to cover these items. I have made up business cards with the website to learn about HR2499, and it asks the receiver to contact his or her congressional representative. I hand one out whenever anyone asks about my condition, after noticing my compression sleeve and gloved hand…which is very often. LOL. Hope they do.

  2. Dave Dave says:

    I couldn’t have said it better myself Lee!

%d bloggers like this: