Friday, June 3, 2011

ACA Conference

I had a wonderful time at the conference.  It was very informative. A lot of people are dealing with chronic pain and there were two excellent sessions dealing with this topic. There were gait training sessions, glimpses of new technologies in socket designs (nothing earth shattering - some twists on the basic designs but way cool socket art!) and demonstrations of newer knees. All that is well and good, but let's get to the insurance fairness topic.

First, for several really good reasons, the term "prosthetic parity" is being dropped for "Insurance Fairness" (for who?) for Amputees. Makes sense and cuts to the chase. Senator Snowe reintroduced the bill in the Senate (S.773) and word on the street has it that the House version was reintroduced within the last few days. When I get the details I will draft two sample letters to send to your Senators and Representatives. In the meantime, you may notice a shift from "Prosthetic Parity" to "Insurance Fairness" on my site.

Second, we had a chance to talk with one of the higher ups at TSA. It was a reassuring meeting and the needs of people with disabilities are being discussed. Again, we should expect some changes soon, including (maybe) a way to opt out of the cast scope. One physician in the audience pointed out that the so called "minimal" X-ray exposure from the Cast Scope, when multiplied by the 4 or more different views times 2 per trip, times 20 or more trips per year quickly adds up to maximum exposure. Add that to the cumulative exposure that we with multiple orthopedic procedures receive or those who lose a limb to cancer and are exposed to radiation therapy... one person's "minimal" exposure is another persons tipping point. Thankfully, the ACA is working with TSA and we can expect some resolutions soon. We all understand the need for National security. And, as difficult as it is to tolerate, especially when we have already experienced limb loss, insurance discrimination and chronic pain, yes, because we are amputees, we must endure the additional screening.

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