The Amputee Coalition applauds the bipartisan leadership of Representatives G.K. Butterfield (D-NC-01) and Brett Guthrie (R-KY-02) for introducing the Access to Assistive Technology and Devices for Americans Study Act (known as the “Triple A Study Act”). This is the companion bill to S.4343, the Triple A Study Act legislation introduced by Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL).
“On behalf of the 2.1 million Americans living with limb loss and limb difference and the 28 million more at risk, we thank Representatives Butterfield and Guthrie for introduction of this legislation,” said Mary Richards, President and CEO of the Amputee Coalition. “The Triple A Study Act will identify the best care practices for people living with limb loss or limb difference so they can be replicated across health systems, which will improve health outcomes for our community.”
Only about one-third of people who experience limb loss or limb difference receive a prosthetic device, and little analysis exists to explain how those decisions are made or if individuals are getting the access to care they need. The information that does exist is difficult to compare across providers.
The Triple A Study Act directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study barriers to care for assistive technologies, including prosthetic devices, and evaluate how those affect patient outcomes by comparing results across Medicare, the VA, and private insurers. It examines specific challenges, such as the affordability of devices, how often people are denied coverage, or if patients can return to work.
The GAO is an independent, non-partisan federal government agency that is well positioned to study and evaluate these important policy questions. Policymakers and others can use these credible findings to develop a strategic plan to improve care for all Americans living with limb loss and limb difference.
“The Triple A Study Act will improve care for the limb loss and limb difference community,” said John “Mo” Kenney, Immediate Past Chair of the Amputee Coalition Board of Directors and owner of Kenney Orthopedics in Representative Guthrie’s district. “Limb loss isn’t a partisan issue,” Kenney continued. “We are grateful for the leadership of Representatives Butterfield and Guthrie who have crafted meaningful legislation that has broad bipartisan appeal. The limb loss and limb difference community looks forward to working with them to get this bill across the finish line.”
“This bill is the first of its kind, and the first one in seven years that directly addresses the needs and challenges in accessing care for the limb loss and limb difference community,” said Jeffrey Cain, M.D., Chair of the Amputee Coalition Board of Directors.
This legislation is the House companion bill to the Triple A Study Act introduced by Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). As you may know, legislation needs to pass both chambers of Congress, so having the Triple A Study Act introduced in the Senate and House shows strong support for our policy priorities and is an important step toward final passage.
The Amputee Coalition is proud to work with Representative Butterfield and Representative Guthrie to move this legislation forward.
We need your help to get this done and we’ve made it easy for you to take action right now! Using our simple online form, please ask your Representative to cosponsor H.R. 8581. With our community’s engagement, we can get this bill across the finish line. We will keep you posted on its progress, and, together, we look forward to it becoming law.
Educating Your Lawmakers
There are many reasons to contact your legislator directly to share your perspective. As their constituent, they want to hear from you, and even a handful of letters and calls on the same topic will resonate for them.
In April, people living with limb difference and limb loss visited legislators in Washington, D.C. There are three areas that we discussed and flyers with more details:
- Introducing or sponsoring federal insurance fairness
- Co-sponsoring and supporting a bill to make sure Medicare coverage changes are transparent (LCD)
- Including prosthetist’s notes in your medical record as part of insurer’s requirements for medical necessity documentation.
If you’d like to reach out to your legislator, please let them know that you would like their support in these areas.
If you have questions or any issues, contact us at email@example.com.
Advocacy and the Amputee Coalition
The Amputee Coalition helps bring together and amplify the voice of people affected by limb loss and limb difference.
Making sure our legislators and insurance policymakers are educated about the needs of the community is an important part of our mission. We partner with other organizations to bring you the tools you need to understand and address a broad range of issues listed below. We also build partnerships with the Administration for Community Living (ACL), the Veterans Administration (VA), the Department of Defense (DOD), and other federal agencies, as well as with other disability groups and organizations that serve as allies. These partnerships are often broader, delving into needs around the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Medicare and Medicaid, funding for programs and research, and access to care. The Amputee Coalition works with partners to ensure the limb loss community, the disabled community, and the professionals that support these communities are well-represented.
Everything you do makes a difference and turns up the volume of your voice!
The Amputee Coalition will look to maintain current funding from the Administration for Community Living (ACL) which is part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. This funding helps us deliver the services and resources the Amputee Coalition provides for the limb loss community. In addition, funding research that better identifies and quantifies how to help people living with limb difference and limb loss thrive is an important funding need. There is some research related to prosthetic care and devices, and very little related to other important areas like long-term physical and emotional impacts, mental health challenges, access to meaningful work, levels of discrimination and more.
Reasonable Travel for Amputees
Assuring that security screening is conducted in a reasonable and appropriate fashion by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for people with limb loss remains a priority for the Amputee Coalition. There remain concerns about intrusive and inconsistency in screening policies from the limb loss community. The Amputee Coalition will continue to work with TSA as members of the TSA’s Disability and Multicultural Coalition Task Force to help them to understand these issues so that they can be appropriately addressed to make the traveling experience as reasonable as possible while maintaining the safety for all travelers.
Limb Loss Awareness Month Proclamations
The Amputee Coalition continues to seek proclamations every April in all 50 states to declare April as Limb Loss Awareness Month. A copy of the proclamation language is available along with a spreadsheet providing a link to your state’s proclamation request form and a guide to completing your request is available for those who would like to help raise awareness. A push for recognition and support during Limb loss Awareness Month will help the Amputee Coalition raise awareness about limb loss and provide a mechanism for the whole community to increase their awareness about limb loss.