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Marsha Blackburn, Tammy Duckworth Introduce Bill to Obtain Accurate Data on Access to Prosthetics

Posted by Bryan Potok on

There are currently 2.1 million Americans experiencing limb loss and limb difference, and each year 185,000 undergo amputation surgery. However, only 30% to 35% receive a prosthetic device through the Veterans Health Administration.

 Senators Tammy Duckworth and Marsha Blackburn introduced the Access to Assistive Technology and Devices for Americans Study Act.

To bridge the gap in the numbers, Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn) introduced the Access to Assistive Technology and Devices for Americans Study Act in July 2020. Also known as the “Triple A” Study Act, the bill would require the Government Accountability Office to study the current state of access to prosthetics after the amputation of a limb.

Through the bill, both senators aim to give officials a holistic understanding of how many Americans have access to prostheses. Passing this legislation will provide the missing data that will help officials better understand the obstacles patients face when seeking to acquire a prosthesis.

Furthermore, this legislation will assess the appropriate coverage of assistive devices provided to patients who live with limb loss. This assessment also includes affordability; evaluation and guidelines for assistive device determination; matching specific devices with the individual beneficiary; rehabilitation services to support adjustment to the amputee life; timelines for assessment for surgery and evaluation of assistive devices; and timely access to care.

According to data from Amputee Coalition of America, among those living with limb loss in the U.S., 54% underwent amputation surgery due to vascular disease, 45% are due to trauma, and less than 2% are due to cancer. The data set also shows that black Americans are up to four times likely to have an amputation than white or Asian Americans. 

What do you think of this bill?
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<a href="">Marsha Blackburn, Tammy Duckworth Introduce Bill to Obtain Accurate Data on Access to Prosthetics</a>

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  • I am a below the knee amputee. I have been trying to adjust to a prosthetic for 2 1/2 years. It has taken 3 prosthetic changes so far to get something that works. However, I am still trying to work with the first foot. It is causing me falls because of my life style. I need to be able to walk on uneven ground and steep hills. I know it will be a nightmare to try to get it replaced. Is this bill only for people in the VA system or does it apply to the rest of us too.

    Gail Varenhorst on

  • University of Washington just now is doing a study based on prosthetic for lower limb amputee and if you use assisted device. How much you get out and about. Stairs ,yard walking,walking across gravel etc.

    Barb Funckes on

  • I would like to speak with someone on this matter. I’m a 30 year amp I have been making Prosthetics for 27 years. It’s always a problem proving to ins companies getting what I need. I would like to get involved to get more full time workers get what they need to continue to hold down full time employment. As it sits now there is no insensitive to return to full time employment.I know I probably got off the topic. But there is a a lot of problems when it comes to the people getting what they need. Something needs to happen.

    Steve Fine on

  • This is a good start but was the act FUNDED in order for the GAO to actually have the money to conduct the study.? If so was there a timeline mandated to complete and report back on the study?

    Jim Clark on

  • As a AK amputee from cancer when I was 15 (now 55) I would love to see more awareness of what it take to get a prosthesis. As a military dependent most of my adult life people assume a prosthesis is fully covered but that is not the case. It still cost thousands. I made my first one last almost 15 yrs till it broke off at the ankle. Haven’t found anyone to make one fit properly since.Thousands of dollars in co pays for ones that I wouldn’t wear. 30 percent co pay on most private insurances is staggering for most people to come up with so people go without. It’s sad. Losing the ability to walk because insurances will not cover more.

    Connie on

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