September 18, 2018
PAD Task Force and Lawmakers Call for Policies to Reduce Amputations
September 19, 2018—The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) announced that members of the newly formed Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Task Force commended Congressman Erik Paulsen (MN-3) and Congressman Donald Payne (NJ-10) for sponsoring a Capitol Hill briefing on September 5 to raise awareness about the risks of PAD and the need for policies to reduce preventable amputations. In addition to SCAI, the PAD Task Force includes the Association of Black Cardiologists, CardioVascular Coalition, and Preventative Cardiovascular Nurse Association.
Bryan Fisher, MD, a member of the CardioVascular Coalition, served as moderator of the briefing. In the SCAI announcement, Dr. Fisher commented, “I applaud Congressmen Payne and Paulsen for sponsoring today’s briefing and offering us a platform to call attention to the devastating impact of PAD on communities across the country, particularly minority populations that disproportionately experience preventable amputations."
Dr. Fisher continued, "As we recognize PAD Awareness Month this September, we are urging policymakers to work with us to advance a comprehensive strategy to combat PAD in the United States that includes increased screening for at-risk patients as well as access to multidisciplinary care and vascular evaluations.”
The PAD Task Force, which was formed to collectively advance a comprehensive strategy that combines increased public awareness and robust screening with nonamputation treatment measures and multidisciplinary care, seeks the following:
- For the Administration to convene an intragovernmental workgroup to develop a standardized model for amputation reduction and raise awareness on the issue. The model could be designed like existing programs such as the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Preventing Amputations in Veterans Everywhere program.
- For lawmakers to urge the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to prevent cuts of 30% or more to revascularization procedures used to treat PAD included in the 2019 Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule. Stakeholders are concerned the cuts stem from CMS’ proposal to update equipment and supply pricing data in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule database based on inaccurate and incomplete data.
SCAI advised that, earlier this year, 32 members of the US House of Representatives, led by Congressmen Paulsen and Payne, urged the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Veterans Health Administration to adopt a national strategy to reduce nontraumatic amputations through increased awareness of PAD, increased screenings for at-risk populations, and improved access to multidisciplinary care.