As National Minority Health Month Begins, CVC Urges Lawmakers to Support Efforts to Reduce Amputation

CVC commends the Congressional PAD Caucus for recognizing this important health equity issue and urges Congress to pass the ARC Act 

Washington, D.C. –– The CardioVascular Coalition (CVC) – a consortium of physicians, care providers, advocates, and manufacturers working to improve awareness and prevention of peripheral artery disease (PAD) – today applauded the Congressional Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Caucus for its work highlighting the devastating and disproportionate rates of PAD for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color throughout the United States.  

Peripheral artery disease, an all-too-common complication of diabetes, prevents oxygen in a patients’ bloodstream from reaching their extremities, substantially increasing the risk of requiring amputation. An estimated 20 million Americans are living with PAD, and, approximately 200,000 non-traumatic amputations are performed on people with PAD

Amputation risks for African Americans living with diabetes are three times higher than the national average, according to the Dartmouth Atlas. Research has also found that Native Americans are more than twice as likely to be subjected to amputation and Hispanics are up to 75 percent more likely to have an amputation. Yet, with access to early diagnostics and appropriate treatment, as many as 85% of amputations could be prevented

“For too long, peripheral artery disease has been an under-the-radar epidemic across the United States, particularly in communities of color, making it an important disparity issue that must be addressed,” said Dr. Jeffrey Carr,  an Interventional Cardiologist and Endovascular Specialist and Founding and Immediate Past President of the Outpatient Endovascular and Interventional Society (OEIS). “Sadly, many patients with PAD don’t know they even have the disease until it’s too late to save their limbs from being amputated. In order to prevent avoidable amputation and promote health equity, Congress must pass the Amputation Reduction and Compassion (ARC) Act.” 

The Amputation Reduction and Compassion Act (H.R. 2631) is bipartisan legislation that will enhance access to necessary care by providing coverage of PAD screening for at-risk beneficiaries under the Medicare and Medicaid programs without the imposition of cost-sharing requirements. Introduced by Representative Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) and co-sponsored by 20 bipartisan lawmakers including Representatives Bobby Rush (IL-1), Ruben Gallego (AZ-7), and Jefferson Van Drew (R-NJ), the bill would also disallow payment for non-emergent amputations – unless anatomical testing has been done in the three months prior to amputation – and establish a PAD education program intended to reduce amputations, particularly with respect to the most at-risk populations, including Black, Indigenous, and Hispanic Americans. 

To learn more about the ARC Act, click here. 

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About the CardioVascular Coalition (CVC) 

Our Mission is to advance patient access to care for peripheral artery disease (PAD). Physicians, care providers, advocates, and manufacturers who comprise the CVC are dedicated to community-based solutions designed to improve awareness and prevention of PAD, reduce geographic disparities in access to care, and secure patient access to high-quality, cost-effective interventional treatment across America. Learn more at cardiovascularcoalition.org.