Skip to main content

Medicare Eyeing Significant Setback in Care for 2 Million U.S. Amputees

  • Published: 2015-08-20 : Author: Amputee Coalition, Manassas, VA; The American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association, Alexandria, VA : Contact: -
  • Synopsis: Proposed changes to U.S. Medicare reimbursement for lower limb prosthetic care would create unjustified hurdles to amputees.

Quote: "It is very difficult to imagine any other aspect of American healthcare where multiple millions of people would not be able to receive appropriate treatment and devices that can speed their return to the fullest and most active possible life..."

Main Document

Groups: Medicare Is Eyeing A "Significant Setback" In Care For Two Million American Amputees - Return to 1970s Standard of Care": Proposed Cost-Cutting Move Would Severely Limit Availability of Appropriate and Medically Necessary Prosthetic Care for Amputees.

Proposed changes to Medicare's reimbursement for lower limb prosthetic care would create unreasonable and clinically unjustified hurdles to amputees receiving care that is now routinely provided, according to a warning issued today by the Amputees Coalition and the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA). The proposed changes in amputee care not only would have a devastating impact on Medicare amputee beneficiaries, but on all of the two million amputees in the U.S., since commercial health insurance payers tend to follow the lead of Medicare on such matters.

According to the Amputee Coalition there are roughly two million persons in the U.S. living with limb loss, and there are approximately 185,000 new amputees each year. Medicare's data for 2009 showed over two million prosthetic services with a total expenditure of $655 million including new prosthetic feet for 36,600 Medicare beneficiaries. The Medicare policy would extend on a de facto basis to an estimated 10 million prosthetic services per year when including all payer sources for two million amputees.

Amputee Coalition President Susan Stout said:

"This proposal represents a significant setback for amputees in the United States. It would mean that hundreds of thousands of Americans who now are active parents, grandparents, employees, and community volunteers would not be able to receive the most appropriate device for their needs at the most appropriate time. The Amputee Coalition is working hard to ensure that amputees are able to reach their full potential and that two million Americans do not see their standard of care negatively impacted by this proposal. Amputees must be able to continue to receive the most appropriate device for their needs."

AOPA President Charles Dankmeyer said:

"It is very difficult to imagine any other aspect of American healthcare where multiple millions of people would not be able to receive appropriate treatment and devices that can speed their return to the fullest and most active possible life. Even worse, there is no medical or scientific justification for these unreasonable and inappropriate hurdles that would amount to a return to a 1970s standard of care. No one is asking for more here; this is simply a situation where an appeal is being made to avoid forcing millions of Americans to suffer with much less in terms of the care readily available to them today."

Among the highlights of patient concerns with the proposed Medicare policy:

A groundswell of opposition is growing against the proposed Medicare rule attack on the standard of care for America's amputees. More than 100,000 Americans have signed a "We the People" White House petition to rescind the Medicare proposal restricting access to prosthetic limbs. The Amputee Coalition also has organized a social media campaign using the #notaluxury hashtag. For more information, go to on Facebook and @AmputeesUSA on Twitter.

Today, almost 2 million Americans have experienced amputations or were born with limb difference.

Another 28 million people in our country are at risk for amputation. The Amputee Coalition is the nation's leading organization on limb loss, dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for amputees and their families, improving patient care and preventing limb loss. With the generous support of the public, we are helping amputees live well with limb loss, raising awareness about limb loss prevention and ensuring amputees have a voice in matters affecting their ability to live full, thriving lives. Visit us at

The American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association is a national trade association committed to providing high quality, unprecedented business services and products to O&P professionals. Since our founding in 1917, we have worked diligently to establish ourselves as the voice for O&P businesses. Through government relations efforts, AOPA works to raise awareness of the profession and impact policies that affect the future of the O&P industry. AOPA membership consists of more than 2,000 O&P patient care facilities and suppliers that manufacture, distribute, design, fabricate, fit, and supervise the use of orthoses (orthopedic braces) and prostheses (artificial limbs). Membership in AOPA represents a professional milestone; it is recognition of leadership and achievement in the O&P community. Visit us at


• Have your say! Add your comment or discuss this article on our FaceBook Page.

Similar Topics

1 : Medicare Part B Increase Will Consume Retirees Entire COLA : The Senior Citizens League.
2 : NAELA President's Statement on the Senate Health Care Reform Legislation : National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA).
3 : How TrumpCare Will Change The Healthcare Industry : VERTESS.
4 : Medicare and Medicaid Services Not to Go Forward With Part B Payment Proposal : American College of Rheumatology.
5 : Medicaid Wait List: Many Adults With Disabilities Likely to Have Unmet Service Needs : University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
From our U.S. Medicare section - Full List (96 Items)

Submit disability news, coming events, as well as assistive technology product news and reviews.

Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.

Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.

List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.

Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be, and information on blood group types/compatibility.

1 : 20 New Episodes of Letters to Lynette with Dr. Lynette Louise to Air on The Autism Channel in 2018
2 : Turnstone Center Designated as Official Paralympic Training Site by US Olympic Committee
3 : Help Your Child in School by Adding Language to The Math
4 : 50% of Retirees Saw Little or No COLA Increase in Net 2018 Social Security Benefits
5 : Turnstone Endeavor Games Concludes with National Records Broken
6 : Spinning in Circles and Learning From Myself by Tsara Shelton
7 : St. Louis HELP Medical Equipment Donation Drive Generates Record-Breaking Results
8 : People Who Snore Suffer from Palate Nerve and Muscle Damage

Disclaimer: This site does not employ and is not overseen by medical professionals. Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.

Reporting Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.

© 2004 - 2018 Disabled World™