PAD Task Force urges lawmakers to join Congressional PAD Caucus to advance policies to improve access to screening for at-risk populations and reduce preventable amputations
WASHINGTON – Members of the Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Task Force – including the Association of Black Cardiologists, CardioVascular Coalition, Preventative Cardiovascular Nurses Association and Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions – today welcomed the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR). The PAD Task Force, originally formed in 2018, came together to advance a comprehensive strategy that combines increased public awareness and robust screening with non-amputation treatment measures and multidisciplinary care.
The Society of Interventional Radiology is a national organization of physicians, scientists and allied health professionals dedicated to improving public health through the use of minimally invasive therapeutic interventions for disease management, including PAD. SIR supports “legislative activities to raise awareness and improve the treatment of PAD.”
PAD is a limb-threatening circulatory condition, that when left undiagnosed and untreated can result in lower-limb amputation. It is exacerbated by conditions like diabetes, chronic hypertension, and renal disease, which are most prevalent in minority populations. According to estimates, PAD results in as many as 200,000 amputations annually in the United States. These non-traumatic amputations often occur without any diagnostic testing, meaning PAD patients are losing limbs before they receive the testing to determine if limb-saving treatments are an option.
In 2019, Congressmen Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) formed the Congressional PAD Caucus to educate Congress and communities about PAD. Key priorities for the caucus include:
- Increasing funding to raise awareness about PAD;
- Improving access to PAD screening; and
- Disallowing non-traumatic amputations without anatomical testing.
“We look forward to working with Congressmen Payne and Bilirakis, and members of the PAD Task Force, to call attention to the devastating impact of PAD on communities across the country and advance a comprehensive strategy to combat PAD and reduce amputations in the United States that includes increased awareness of peripheral artery disease, increased screenings for at risk populations, and the avoidance of amputation of limbs without anatomical imaging,” said Michael D. Dake, MD, FSIR, SIR president and senior vice president of the University of Arizona Health Sciences in Tucson.
The PAD Task Force notes that its concerns around PAD are not restricted to government programs and urges private payers as well to adopt policies to raise awareness about PAD, improve access to PAD screening, and disallow non-traumatic amputations without anatomical testing.