House Passes the Lymphedema Treatment Act

November 29, 2022

House Passes the Lymphedema Treatment Act
In a 402-13 bipartisan vote, the House of Representatives passed the Lymphedema Treatment Act, which would require Medicare to fund compression garments for the treatment of beneficiaries' lymphedema.
Rep. Earl L. "Buddy" Carter (R-Ga.) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) introduced the Act, H.R. 3630, into the House to ensure Medicare Part B coverage of doctor-prescribed compression garments. The bill was also co-led by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Mike Kelly (R-Penn.).
"We are one step closer to providing relief for lymphedema patients, some of whom live through one of the worst diagnoses imaginable – cancer – only to come out the other side with an equally debilitating condition and a fraction of the resources and support," Rep. Carter said. "As co-chair of the Cancer Survivors Caucus and a pharmacist, I am excited to see Congress provide relief to patients who have been denied Medicare coverage for far too long."
"Today, the House of Representatives took one giant step closer to finally providing needed relief to over three million Lymphedema patients on Medicare," Rep. Schakowsky added. "The bill passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support thanks to the tireless work of advocates like Heather Ferguson, Founder and Executive Director of the Lymphedema Advocacy Group, and her teenage sons."
Schakowsky says the legislation has "tremendous bipartisan support" in the Senate.
"We can get this bill to President Biden's desk before the end of the year," she said. "Millions of Lymphedema patients are counting on us."
Lymphedema facts:
It is a condition that results in swelling of the leg or arm.
It occurs due to blockage in the lymphatic system which is part of the immune system. 
Very common-More than 3 million cases per year.
Lymphedema can show up soon after breast surgery, or even years after surgery, and can sometimes last for years.
Lymphedema can be treated with specialized physical therapy, and with compression garments
Medicare does not currently cover compression garments for the treatment of lymphedema, even though this type of treatment has proven to be effective. Often, patients with lymphedema are forced to pay out of pocket for compression garments, which can be hundreds of dollars! The passing of the Lymphedema Treatment Act would allow people with this painful condition to have access to the treatment needed to live a less painful life. Women undergoing lumpectomies, mastectomies, and other life- saving surgeries will be able to have peace of mind knowing that if they do develop lymphedema, they can get the treatment they need. Pink Hope currently offers fittings for compression garments, even though they are not covered by Medicare. We look forward to being able to provide our patients with the garments needed to treat lymphedema, without having to put the full burden on the patient to take on the cost.

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