Navigation Links
Companies to Donate Prosthetic Legs to Boston Bombing Victims in Need
Date:5/1/2013

By Brenda Goodman
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- A coalition of manufacturers has pledged to provide new prosthetic legs for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings if their health insurance won't cover the full cost of the devices.

Prosthetic limbs are prescribed by doctors and have to be fitted to suit an amputee's activity level and needs.

The price tag for an artificial leg for a below-the-knee amputee can run from $8,000 to $12,000, while the cost of a prosthetic to replace a leg lost above the knee can run between $40,000 and $60,000.

Dr. David Crandell, director of the amputee program at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, is treating 16 patients who were injured in the Boston attacks, including eight amputees. He said two of those patients lost both legs. Four patients lost a leg below the knee, and two more lost a leg above the knee.

It's not clear whether the patients have enough insurance to fully cover the cost of new prosthetics, but the prosthetic manufacturers said they wanted patients to know that their devices would be covered if they needed financial help.

"We want to ensure that in the midst of this horrific tragedy, these individuals are not further traumatized by the harsh and unreasonable limits that are present in all too many health insurance policies today in the United States. As an industry, we would not want to see these people victimized twice," said Tom Fise, executive director of the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association, who spoke at a news conference Tuesday to announce the initiative.

Two weeks ago, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 260 others. Some of the most seriously wounded victims lost one or both legs in the blast.

Insurance coverage for prosthetics varies widely. While government plans like Medicare and the VA generally provide full coverage for new prosthetics and the rehabilitation needed to use them, private plans sometimes have very low coverage limits that put the latest technology out of reach.

"Common coverage limits we see are annual caps of $1,000, $2500 or $5,000," for prosthetic devices, which are often covered as durable medical equipment, said Dan Ignaszewski, director of government relations for the nonprofit Amputee Coalition.

Coverage limits may help patients get braces, crutches or limbs, but they don't touch the cost of newer devices which are now powered by microprocessors and made with sleek materials.

"As the devices have become higher functioning and more expensive, insurance coverage hasn't kept up," Ignaszewski explained.

Also, policies may limit coverage to a single prosthetic limb over the course of a lifetime. Lifetime limits are especially hard on children, who quickly outgrow their devices.

If patients don't have insurance or their plan doesn't fully cover the costs, the coalition has pledged to provide the first prosthetic leg for Boston victims. They just need a letter from their doctor attesting to the fact that they were hurt in the Boston attacks and describing the kind of device they need.

"There's no reason why every American amputee shouldn't be fully functional, except that some health insurance isn't willing to pay for it," said Kendra Calhoun, president of the Amputee Coalition.

While Calhoun said she was glad to see companies stepping in to help victims of the Boston attacks, she urged people not to forget the estimated 500 people who undergo amputation each day in the United States.

"Arms and legs are not luxuries," Calhoun said. "Medically necessary prosthetic devices should have the same insurance coverage as implantable devices like hips and pacemaker."

The U.S. Department of Defense and the VA recently completed a study that found five-year prosthetic costs to be as high as $450,000 for a patient with multiple limb amputations, $230,000 for a person with a lower-limb amputation and $117,000 for a person with an upper-limb amputation. Studies estimate that the lifetime health care costs for a person with limb loss can exceed $500,000, according to background information provided by the coalition.

More information

For more about insurance coverage for prosthetic limbs, visit The Amputee Coalition.

SOURCES: April 30, 2013, news conference with: David Crandell, M.D., director, amputee program, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston; Dan Ignaszewski, director,government relations, Amputee Coalition; Tom Fise, executive director, American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association; Kendra Calhoun, president, Amputee Coalition


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Best 2013 California Home alarm System Companies Scored by 6Webs.com
2. Top Rated Security System Companies in the State of Washington Published by 6Webs.com
3. Best 2013 Illinois Home Security System Companies Ranked by 6Webs.com
4. Best 2013 Virginia Home Security System Companies Reviewed by SecurityPlanet.com
5. Tobacco companies keep people smoking despite UK cigarette tax increases
6. G-Cube Features in Training Industry Inc.’s 2012 Learning Portal Companies Watchlist
7. Avamere Family of Companies Acquires Six Transitional Care Facilities, Expands Eastward into New Post-Acute Markets.
8. Private Companies Will Face Increased Competition for Sales in 2013 - Newport Board Group Releases Seven Strategies Designed to Improve Customer Retention
9. Baudville honored as one of West Michigan’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For by Michigan Business and Professional Association.
10. Craze for Hairless Genitals Accompanies Rise in Infections
11. Med School Students Still Get Gifts From Drug Companies: Survey
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Companies to Donate Prosthetic Legs to Boston Bombing Victims in Need
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Casa Velas, an adults-only boutique hotel in Puerto Vallarta, ... its new wellness suites . The two 1,350 sq. ft. suites which debuted ... services and insuite amenities, from a custom soap selection and in-suite exercise kit to ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... , ... May 25, 2016 , ... America Walks ... Carol Reichbaum, M.S.L., M.S.P.A., of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public ... will enable Ms. Reichbaum and 24 other advocates from around the country to participate ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... "FCPX LUT Intense allows ... your footage," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , With ... and easily add stylish color grades to their footage. A LUT is a Lookup ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Consumer access to organic foods ... 2016, Kashi®, a maker of whole grain cereals and other plant-based foods, will introduce ... hard red winter wheat processed by Hesco/Dakota Organic Products. , The transitional designation ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... Stern ... firm will be selling the device branded as Stern’s Real Time Monitoring ... to bedbugs to the hotel and motel industry, colleges for use in dormitories, shelters, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... May 24, 2016 Een app ... zodat zij collectief patiënten kunnen behandelen, hun kennis kunnen ... idee achter de nieuwe en revolutionaire MDLinking App, ontwikkeld ... Nederlandse vaatchirurg dr. Hans Flu en oncologisch chirurg dr. ... inmiddels beschikbaar is, wordt op dinsdag 24 mei officieel ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... FLINT, Mich. , May 23, 2016 Diplomat ... the third annual Fellowship and Internship programs. The hands-on ... 12. The full-time, paid Fellowship ... Flint, Michigan . Fellows and interns are ... downtown Flint at the Riverfront ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... , May 23, 2016 ... Devices, Diagnostics and Monitoring, and Vision Care ... Which areas are going to grow at the fastest ... revenues to 2026, assessing data, trends, opportunities and prospects. ... charts, and graphs. Discover the most lucrative areas in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: