Medicare officials meet with amputee advocates

Amputee advocates worry proposed policy will limit access to limbs.

Senior officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services met Wednesday with amputees who are fighting a Medicare proposal they say will limit access to advanced prosthetic limbs in an effort to save the federal government millions of dollars.

Andy Slavitt, acting administrator of the Woodlawn-based agency, joined other administration officials at a meeting in Washington to discuss concerns raised by more stringent requirements that have been proposed for reimbursing patients for lower-limb prostheses. A separate public hearing on the proposal took place in Anne Arundel County on Wednesday.

Federal officials expressed the "critical importance of Medicare beneficiaries' access to appropriate and medically necessary lower-limb prosthetics," according to a statement released by the agency. The officials vowed to work with regional contractors that are drafting the policy to ensure it is "supported by clinical evidence" and does not limit necessary services.

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