Monday, August 25, 2008

Sample Letter to KS Health Care Commission

(Insert Date)

Duane A. Goossen, Chair and Secretary of Administration
Kansas Health Care Commission
Room 900-N, Landon State Office Building
900 SW Jackson Street Topeka, KS 66612

Dear Mr. Goossen,

I am writing on behalf of Dr. Kathleen Gustafson, a state employee at Kansas University Medical Center. (Insert your personalized association with Kat here)

Dr. Gustafson was advised to write to you and ask that you reconsider the policy that refuses to cover a prosthetic microprocessor knee. Current policy considers the knee to be "deluxe" and therefore, a non-covered item. Concerned that Dr. Gustafson’s single voice may not be heard, I am writing to plead her case.

Prosthetists, the FDA, CMS/Medicare, AAOP, the VA, and over 150 insurance companies have recognized and accepted microprocessor-controlled knees as a standard level of prosthetic treatment. They have been used in thousands of above knee amputees - since 1997 in Europe and Canada and 1999 in the United States. Further indication of acceptance of microprocessor-controlled knees is Medicare’s assignment of L-Codes L5847 and L5989 in January 2002, the code L5848 in January 2003 and the code L5846 in January 1996. Research and patient reports show the microprocessor knee to be superior to simple hydraulic knees with improved patient function and mobility, fewer falls and injuries and less wear and tear on the sound limb.

Microprocessor knees are also standard of care for KS Medicaid recipients. Why is the standard of care different for KS State Employees? Dr. Gustafson is a valued employee of the State’s premiere medical and research center and her mobility is essential to her job and highly active lifestyle. Yet, the ability to walk normally, without assistance, is considered a luxury? Please reconsider and change this policy.


Your name and address


  1. I am one of the people who knew you in the 1970's as a competitive trail rider. You were a great competitor and so much didn't let your prosthesis slow you down that after about 30 seconds of finding out you had it, we just didn't think about it anymore. It is ridiculous that you were caught in a situation that denied you what you needed. I am appalled that the state denies an employee of the highly vaunted KU Medical Center from getting 1st class treatment. Your tenacity for others in the situation is commendable and you obviously have the written and verbal skills to attack this injustice at a practical level. I voted on the other site and wish you success. Vicki Chick, Silver City, New Mexico

  2. Vicki Chick! Great hearing from you - what great days those were! You probably know that Elmer Gantry and Mary Anna Wood are still making headlines!

    Thanks for your support. I'm going to be fine - I'm fighting for what's right so other amputees can live life to the fullest.


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