PAD community emphasizes importance of protecting access to revascularization services to reduce amputations in Medicare patients
Washington, DC– Citing the pressing need to prevent unnecessary limb amputation in Medicare patients, the CardioVascular Coalition (CVC), a leading group of providers, physicians, and manufacturers, urged Congress to act to protect access to vital revascularization services during Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Awareness Month this September.
Noting that the 2019 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Proposed Rule cuts reimbursement for revascularization services by up to 30 percent or more, the CVC emphasized the key role Members of Congress play in calling on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to not include these cuts in the final rule.
“As we recognize PAD Awareness Month, it is especially timely for our elected lawmakers to protect the estimated 18 million individuals who suffer from PAD across the country by doing all they can to protect revascularization services by blocking these proposed cuts,” stated Jeffrey Carr, MD, FACC. “These cuts stem from CMS’ proposal to update equipment and supply pricing data in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule database. We have concerns with the accuracy of this data for revascularization codes as some of these inputs have no pricing data at all in the CMS database. It is time for Congress and CMS to come together to ensure that unnecessary limb amputation becomes a thing of the past.”
Nearly 20 percent of Americans over the age of 70 suffer from PAD – the hardening of arteries that causes narrowing or blockage of vessels that carry blood from the heart to the legs – which can lead to significant buildup of plaque in the arteries known as atherosclerosis. Minimally invasive revascularization can effectively prevent the need for limb amputation and, thereby, improve patients outcomes and reduce Medicare spending. It is incumbent on Congress to protect funding for this vital PAD treatment.
Access to revascularization therapies is especially vital to the African American, Hispanic and Native American populations who are two to four times more likely to undergo a limp amputation due to PAD due to an increased prevalence of diabetes, obesity and other risk factors.
CVC noted that the lack of any listed price for supply inputs used in revascularization services means providers are not being reimbursed for the resource cost of those inputs. The time has come for all Members of Congress to urge CMS to properly value critical revascularization services.
To learn more about PAD and PAD Awareness Month, CLICK HERE.