Oct 26, 2020
The Amputation Reduction and Compassion (ARC) Act aims to prevent amputations by expanding Medicare and Medicaid coverage for PAD and establishing a PAD education program
Washington, D.C. – Today the CardioVascular Coalition (CVC) – a coalition of physicians, care providers, advocates, and manufacturers working to improve awareness and prevention of peripheral artery disease (PAD) – thanked Representative Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ) for his exemplary leadership and commitment to addressing the inequities and health disparities plaguing our healthcare system by introducing The Amputation Reduction and Compassion (ARC) Act (H.R. 8615).
If passed, the ARC Act would expand Medicare and Medicaid coverage to include PAD screening tests, while also preventing reimbursement for amputation without the prior arterial testing that could potentially mitigate complications and prevent amputation. In addition to expanding access to PAD screening tests, the ARC Act would establish a program to help develop, support, and implement educational initiatives that inform health care professionals and the public about the existence of peripheral artery disease and the importance of early detection.
The ARC Act demonstrates Rep. Payne’s continued dedication to creating an equitable healthcare system, which began when he co-founded the Congressional PAD Caucus with Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) in April 2019. The PAD Caucus seeks to educate Congress about PAD while supporting legislative activities to improve PAD research, education, and treatment.
Providing adequate healthcare for vulnerable individuals is essential, particularly those most at risk for PAD. Today, an estimated 21 million Americans have PAD, and an estimated 200,000 of them are at risk of undergoing a lower limb amputation because of late detection. The vulnerable individuals at risk of lower limb amputation are disproportionately racial and ethnic minorities. In particular, Black Americans are up to four times more likely to undergo an amputation than their Caucasian counterparts. Native Americans are more than twice as likely to be subjected to amputation, and Hispanic Americans are up to 75 percent more likely to have an amputation.
The ARC Act will fill the policy gap that allows these inequities to fester by increasing access to preventive screening and providing education to improve the early detection rate and prevent thousands of vulnerable beneficiaries from undergoing unnecessary amputations every year.
“We applaud Congressman Payne for his persistent leadership in addressing our nation’s health disparities and developing policy solutions to measurably prevent amputation,” said Dr. Eric J. DeLaura, an interventional radiologist and Medical Director of Image Guided Surgery & Aesthetics in Union, NJ. “We are now urging Congress to quickly pass the ARC Act and prevent thousands of Americans from undergoing needless amputation.”
Rep. Payne is co-sponsoring the ARC Act alongside Reps. Bobby Rush (IL-1) and Ruben Gallego (AZ-7).