House Committee Passes Lymphedema Treatment Act

September 08, 2022 by Alec Stone MA, MPA, ONS Government Affairs Director

In a key step that would expand Medicare coverage for necessary lymphedema compression treatment items, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed (https://energycommerce.house.gov/newsroom/press-releases/pallone-applauds-committee-passage-of-five-health-and-telecommunication) the Lymphedema Treatment Act (https://www.congress.gov/117/bills/hr3630/BILLS-117hr3630ih.pdf) in July 2022, advancing the bill’s journey to becoming law.

The Lymphedema Treatment Act ensures coverage of standard fitted compression garments, prescription custom fitted compression garments, and other devices determined to be effective to prevent or treat lymphedema. Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), the act’s lead sponsor (https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/3630) in the House, Buddy Carter (R-GA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and Mike Kelly (R-PA) reintroduced (https://schakowsky.house.gov/media/press-releases/schakowsky-applauds-advancement-lymphedema-treatment-act?fbclid=IwAR3JFn8JQwXF_MLpQCgf2BKwNoEUWNhrVlo1fmsQ09K23pbNKEgXvLTXi8Q) it in June 2021.

“There is also no cure for lymphedema,” Schakowsky said (https://schakowsky.house.gov/media/press-releases/schakowsky-applauds-advancement-lymphedema-treatment-act?fbclid=IwAR3JFn8JQwXF_MLpQCgf2BKwNoEUWNhrVlo1fmsQ09K23pbNKEgXvLTXi8Q). “People living with the disease need medical compression garments to treat the painful swelling. The Lymphedema Treatment Act will finally close the gap in Medicare coverage for people living with lymphedema to cover these essential compression garments.”

“Lymphedema patients have been denied this coverage for far too long. After battling cancer, survivors can be met with this equally debilitating diagnosis, but with far fewer resources in place to assist them,” Carter said (https://buddycarter.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=10410&fbclid=IwAR1Nwbx0isGzYN-8EjePFez9X6ajWkMpLMtcmh2t47mACetBARSnzw1J-C0). “As a pharmacist and a child of a cancer survivor, I’ve seen the pain that lymphedema can cause. To those patients—help is on the way.”

ONS has long advocated for the Lymphedema Treatment Act and joined the cancer advocacy community in celebrating the bill’s advancement toward law. Learn more about ONS’s healthcare policy priorities (https://www.ons.org/make-difference/ons-center-advocacy-and-health-policy/policy-priorities) and how you can join your voice with thousands of other oncology nurses to raise the issues with policymakers (https://voice.ons.org/advocacy/get-involved-in-onss-health-policy-advocacy).


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