House Passes Improvements to Medicare’s Local Coverage Program

Kevin Manuel In The News

Bill ensures a more transparent process for local coverage determinations. The Amputee Coalition urges the Senate to take action following House passage.

On September 12, the Local Coverage Determination Clarification Act (H.R. 3635) was passed by the House of Representatives. The act is intended to improve transparency and visibility through the process used to make local coverage decisions by Medicare.

In 2015, the Amputee Coalition worked with the limb loss community to battle a proposed local coverage determination that would have greatly limited access to necessary prosthetic care for many people who needed a lower-limb prosthesis. This act is a result of that fight and provides recognition that more transparency is needed in the process. Earlier this year, an interagency workgroup retired the proposed local coverage determination for lower limb prosthetics and identified a need to increase the clinical and research evidence to support any future changes in Medicare coverage.

Amputee Coalition President & CEO Jack Richmond said, “This legislation represents a step in the right direction to increase transparency in the coverage determination process, and we applaud representatives Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and Ron Kind (D-WI) for introducing and supporting passage of the Local Coverage Determination Clarification Act. These steps will ensure that patients have a more transparent process as future coverage determinations are made.”

The Amputee Coalition encourages the Senate to take action following passage in the House and to pass the Local Coverage Determination and Clarification Act before the end of the year.