US Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) have introduced the Access to Assistive Technology and Devices for Americans Study Act, a bill that will provide data for policymakers to make better decisions to help improve the lives of people with limb loss.
The bill is designed to direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to identify barriers to care, gaps in assessments and device prescriptions, and performance measures for timely coverage. It will also study economic impacts of accessing needed care, including return-to-work rates, as well as provide a comparison of care and outcomes across payers including Medicare, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, and private insurance.
"We need data about who receives prosthetic care and why, and this bill helps uncover that information and so much more. This is going to be a game changer in how we talk about and plan for post-amputation care and recovery," said Denise Hoffmann, a nurse and limb loss patient advocate.
Jeffrey Cain, MD, chair of the Amputee Coalition board of directors said, "This bill is the first of its kind, and the first one in seven years that directly addresses the needs and challenges in accessing care for the limb loss and limb difference community."