— Proposed Medicare cuts create greater barriers to screening and revascularization services
by Sreejit Nair, MD, and Ashwani Sastry, MD
Few medical procedures are as life-altering as an amputation. But statistics show hundreds of thousands of Americans have their limbs surgically removed each year because they don’t have access to adequate vascular screening and care.
In the rural communities of North Carolina that we serve, the nearest “in-hospital” alternative to our office-based treatment locations is at least 2 to 3 hours away, which can result in delays in care that lead to poor clinical outcomes. The patients we serve are living with vascular diseases such as peripheral artery disease (PAD) and critical limb ischemia (CLI), and many of them are at risk for experiencing major amputations as a result of diabetes-related PAD. In fact, data show living in an underserved North Carolina community is associated with a 29% increase in the odds of undergoing major limb amputation.