Lymphedema is defined as chronic swelling (edema) caused by a buildup of fluid (lymph) that occurs when the lymphatic system is either faulty or damaged. Lymphedema can be hereditary, but it can also be caused by surgery or injury. Anything that damages the lymph nodes or lymphatic drainage system can result in malfunction of the lymphatic system. Cancer treatments that remove or damage lymph nodes are the most common cause of non-hereditary lymphedema. There is no cure for lymphedema, but it can be effectively treated using complete decongestive therapy. This therapy is the standard of care and has multiple components, the most important of which is compression. Currently the doctor-prescribed compression garments and devices are currently not covered by most public and private insurance companies.
To address the lack of coverage for lymphedema sufferers The Lymphedema Treatment Act (LTA) was created. The LTA is a federal bill created with the aim of improving insurance coverage for the medically necessary, doctor-prescribed compression supplies that are the foundation of lymphedema treatment.
You can lend your support this March by visiting The Lymphedema Treatment Act’s website and signing up for their newsletter, contacting your legislators and/or making a donation. Make your voice heard in the fight to help the 3-5 million men, women and children living with lymphedema to get the insurance coverage they deserve for their medically necessary compression supplies.