As the next Vice-President of AOTA I will be a tireless advocate for occupational therapy practitioners and consumers of occupational therapy! All this week is advocacy week at www.brentbraveman.com and each day I am highlighting a critical piece of legislation address at the AOTA Legislative Action Center.
The Lymphedema Treatment Act is a piece of legislation that is near and dear to my heart as I see consumers struggling everyday with the sometimes debilitating effects of lymphedema at MD Anderson Cancer Center where I work as Director of Rehabilitation Services.
As AOTA explains, “Lymphedema is a complex, chronic condition affecting three to five millions of Americans. It results in the buildup and swelling of the affected body part due to the insufficient function of the lymphatic system. Untreated, lymphedema is progressive and can cause complications, comorbidities, and can impact an individual’s day-to-day functioning. It is most commonly caused by the removal of lymph nodes or vessels during treatment of cancer (AOTA, 2017, Online at: http://capwiz.com/aota/issues/alert/?alertid=73918626)
Evidence shows that compression garments are highly effective in controlling lymphedema (Braveman & Hunter, 2017) but Medicare does not currently pay for compression garments. The Lymphedema Treatment Act would change this and provide critical coverage for patients with lymphedema.
Take action now and urge your Member of Congress to support proper treatment of lymphedema!
Visit: www.aota.org/take action today!
Braveman, B. & Hunter, E. (2017). Occupational therapy practice guidelines for cancer rehabilitation with Adults. Bethesda, Maryland: AOTA Press.
The opinions expressed in my blog are personal and neither represent the views of my employer nor any organization.