NALEA
About Mission Positions Membership FAQs
Positions

 

Position Statement on the Lymphedema Diagnosis and Treatment Cost Savings Act of 2010

 

Overview: The bill was initiated by NLN Legislative Advocate Bob Weiss. Following the initial draft he has worked closely with a Congressional Legislative Counsel and Congressman Larry Kissell of North Carolina, to re-work the text.

 

The bill has the goal of reducing total healthcare costs through avoidance of periodic infections, pain, and disabilities resulting from lymphedema. Specific goals of the bill are:

  1. To provide diagnosis and treatment of individuals with and at risk for lymphedema according to current medical treatment standards, including manual lymph drainage, compression bandages, garments, devices, and exercise.
  2. To provide for lymphedema patient education in the procedures for self-treatment so as to transfer the treatment from the clinical to the home setting.
  3. To encourage patient self-treatment plan adherence by providing necessary medical supplies for use at home.
  4. To reduce total healthcare costs through avoidance of periodic infections, pain, and disabilities resulting from lymphedema.

Executive Summary: Providing treatment for individuals with lymphedema or those at risk requires specialty training. It is imperative that lymphedema therapists receive training in accordance with the highest level of lymphedema training standards before commencing lymphedema treatment services. This level of training is essential to providing successful management of lymphedema patients. Minimum training standards have been set and shared between NALEA member schools, which are equivalent to practice standards established by the Lymphology Association of North America (LANA). Therapists who have successfully completed at least 135 hours of lymphedema therapy training and are certified by a recognized NALEA member school meet the industry standard of minimum education set forth by LANA.

 

Regarding the Lymphedema Diagnosis and Treatment Cost Savings Act of 2010, it is the position of NALEA that:

  1. All potential lymphedema therapists including Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists should undergo these minimum training requirements in order to provide consistent quality lymphedema care.
  2. The various components of Complete or Combined Decongestive Therapy (CDT) consist of highly specialized treatment skills, which are currently not part of the training curriculum for Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists at the university level. To ensure the quality and integrity of lymphedema care, it is essential that Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists meet the minimum training requirements for lymphedema therapists set forth by LANA.
  3. Licensed or Registered Massage Therapists who meet minimum training requirements for lymphedema therapists are qualified individuals who may provide lymphedema treatment services.
©2010-2014 North American Lymphedema Education Association