News & Events

A letter to the American Medical Association (AMA) from Franci Schwab

Subject: Please Support Lymphedema Patients

I facilitate a Lymphedema Support Group and nearly every new patient contact for years has begun with the same sad story of how they have been undiagnosed, underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed. They have been treated with disrespect and dismissed without any hope or dignity by one medical professional after another! This includes my own story.

I am hearing so much more than ever from patients with severe health issues from lack of adequate treatment, particularly compression garments! Some have lost their insurance due to covid and aren't able to afford their treatment. Even if they have insurance it very seldom covers compression garments. Without proper compression garments their condition worsens, often leading to cellulitis and hospitalizations that could have been prevented.

When we are immune-compromised already, we need well-fitting garments that can potentially keep us safely in our homes. Studies have definitively proven significant decreases in hospitalizations, office visits and comorbidities when compression garments are provided. This equates to significant long-term savings to Medicare.

As patients we appreciate your support of the Lymphedema Treatment Act to cover doctor prescribed compression and as I am sure you are aware it was the most supported healthcare bill last term with a bipartisan supermajority in both House and Senate.

We also appreciate your support as we go forward with hope in establishing a National Commission on Lymphatic Diseases and with increased lymphatic research.

Franci Schwab
Lymphedema Support Group