Monday, August 25, 2008

How you can help

I've been told to write the KS Health Care Commission if I want them to change their policy. If it's a letter they want, then let's get them some letters! The instructions are below. Here's the suggested letter, but write whatever you want. You can be as passionate as you like, but PLEASE - be polite!

Next, take a moment to check the prosthetic parity law in your state by going to the Amputee Coalition of America website. If your state has not passed a prosthetic parity bill, please send a letter (scroll to the bottom of the ACA link) to your state and/or federal representatives. The federal bill is House Resolution 5615. Senator Senator Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina is considering sponoring a senate bill. Please encourage her and don't forget this is an election year.

Giving "A Leg Up"

In the world of horses, giving someone “a leg up” has meant taking just a moment to give someone a boost up on their horse – so they can take over from there.

Taking a minute now to give Kathleen a leg up will help her retake charge of her own life and will subsequently benefit other amputees.

Instructions: Copy/paste the sample letter and personalize before printing and mailing – it might be just a short line about how you know Kathleen, or something special you know about her or how she has helped you. (Traditional paper and stamp letters have a very personal impact.) Remember to delete the red “insert here” sentence.

Thank you for taking the time to give Kat “A Leg Up”.

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.


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