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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Update on the Medicare Proposal

I wanted to provide a quick update on the Medicare proposal that would significantly impact access to lower limb prosthetics. My life, and those of my friends and colleagues, was consumed by this issue throughout the  month of August. As soon as the deadline for comments passed and the calendar changed the entire community has been existing in a holding pattern. 

As it stands right now, nothing official has transpired. CMS and Medicare are not obligated to modify the proposal based upon the hearing and comments submitted, but most of the key players agree that changes will be made by committee members. Rescinding the proposal entirely and starting from scratch is a long shot. It isn't a matter of if the proposal will be enacted, but rather how detrimental the final version will be on accessing lower limb prosthetics. 

I am an eternal optimist and remain hopeful that the most horrific aspects of the proposal will be removed from the final version. If I were to bet, I would lay my money on the elimination of a natural gait requirement as well as the restrictions based upon the utilization of other mobility aids. I suspect that the other aspects of the proposal will be adopted with slight modifications. 

There is no timeline for CMS to act upon their proposal. They can release their final draft today, next month or they can decide to sit upon it indefinitely. The absence of a definitive deadline is frustrating for everybody who rallied and worked tirelessly on this effort.  In some ways we are all in a holding pattern, just waiting to learn our fate.

Our petition to the White House met the minimum required for a response within 17 days. I am extraordinarily proud that ours is the only disability oriented petition to ever meet the threshold required for a response. The community rallied behind the petition and our #NotALuxury movement, forcing the White House to respond to our concerns. We expect to receive a response by the middle of October.

Of course, meeting the requirements for  response and rescinding the proposal are two entirely different things. We do not know what the White House response will look like, nor is Medicare obligated to consider their input when making a decision.  Again, we are caught in a nerve wracking waiting pattern. 

If you haven't yet contacted your elected officials concerning this issue, I encourage you to do so. We need to keep pushing this issue and fight to keep the concerns of the community in the forefront of this fight. Rest assured that I am staying on top of this issue and that I will keep everybody apprised of any developments in this blog.

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