Lance sponsors bill to expand Lymphedema treatment

Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.) recently signed on as an original cosponsor of a bipartisan measure that would close the Medicare coverage gap for treatment of Lymphedema, a disease that affects nearly 6 million Americans.

The disease, which results from damaged lymph nodes and leads to painful swelling, often requires compression therapy to treat. Medicare, however, does not cover the supplies for compression therapy.

“Our legislation offers a chance to utilize the equipment needed for care,” Lance, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health and the co-chairman of the House Rare Disease Caucus, said. “Those born with this terrible disease and cancer patients need access to compression equipment to treat the condition effectively…”

The Lymphedema Treatment Act, Lance added, would help bridge the gap between proper diagnosis of the disease and access to treatment.

Ensuring Medicare covers the treatment would be “a major victory,” Lymphedema Advocacy Group Founder and Executive Director Heather Ferguson said.

“Compression therapy is a cornerstone of lymphedema treatment, without which patients are unable to effectively manage their condition,” Ferguson said. “This often leads to disease progression, comorbidities and costly complications that could have been avoided. By allowing coverage for compression supplies, this bill is pivotal in improving patient care while reducing the overall healthcare costs associated with this chronic disease.”