The Critical Limb Ischemia Global Society (CLIGS) is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization founded in 2016 by Alan T. Hirsch, MD; Michael R. Jaff, DO; Barry T. Katzen, MD; Jihad A. Mustapha, MD; Dierk Scheinert, MD; and Frank J. Veith, MD. The organization is dedicated to patients and the public health aspect of critical limb ischemia (CLI), and its mission is to “improve quality of life by preventing amputations and death due to CLI.”

To accomplish this mission, we are focusing on several key issues, starting with supporting affected patients by emphasizing the public health urgency of this disease. A critical evaluation of CLI revascularization procedures must also be conducted, including analyzing technical alternatives, supporting uniform quality metrics, and developing resource-based algorithms based on proven clinical practices. Establishing wound care guidelines and quality metrics is also essential. Lastly, the society aims to play a major role in providing education, not only of patients and referring physicians, but also of treating physicians and third-party payers.

The CLIGS encourages collaboration among the major vascular, interventional, medical, and podiatric societies to continue raising public and health professional CLI awareness. Further, the society advocates for the formation of alliances of multidisciplinary health care providers who will petition lawmakers in a focused and concerted effort to designate CLI as a global public health priority. For example, the CLIGS has organized a multispecialty coalition, the first initiative of which was forming a task force including representatives from the Society for Vascular Surgery, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, Society of Interventional Radiology, and Society for Vascular Medicine working to differentiate CLI from other peripheral artery diseases in the medical coding and billing nomenclature, beginning with International Classification of Diseases, Clinical Modification, 10th version (ICD-10-CM) codes. The goal of this initiative is to support coding professionals, educators, compliance staff, and physicians in identifying and defining CLI in order to track and monitor patient treatments and outcomes in the future. This proposal was presented by the CLIGS to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ICD-10-CM Coordination and Maintenance Committee for addition to the 2021 update on October 1, 2019. This effort represents a critical step toward building awareness among public and commercial payers of the complexity associated with caring for patients who experience CLI.

To further the mission of the CLIGS, we must continue working to: (1) firmly understand the current mortality and amputation rates related to CLI; (2) foster the public health imperative through facts and clear communication; and (3) establish national and international goals to improve both mortality and amputation rates. To become a member, please visit www.cliglobalsociety.org. The ever-growing impact of this deadly disease can only be controlled with a coordinated and comprehensive international plan to address all aspects of CLI, including diagnosis, treatment, and education of patients and health care providers.

Jos C. van den Berg, MD, PhD
Centro Vascolare Ticino
Ospedale Regionale di Lugano
Lugano, Switzerland
Universitätsinstitut für Diagnostische, Interventionelle und Pädiatrische Radiologie
Inselspital, Universitätsspital Bern
Bern, Switzerland
jos.vandenberg@eoc.ch
Disclosures: None.

Jihad A. Mustapha, MD, FACC, FSCAI
Advanced Cardiac and Vascular Centers for Amputation Prevention
Grand Rapids, Michigan
jmustapha@acvcenters.com
Disclosures: None.

Richard F. Neville, MD, FACS, DFSVS, RCPSG (Hon)
Associate Director, Inova Heart and Vascular Institute
Vice Chairman, Department of Surgery
Director of Vascular Services
Inova Health System
Falls Church, Virginia
richard.neville@inova.org
Disclosures: Scientific advisory board, WL Gore & Associates.