Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sign Our Petition

We have started an online petition for prosthetic parity in Kansas. We need at least 10,000 signatures by the end of November to present to the Kansas Health Care Commission to get this policy changed. You can access our online petition at . Please click on the link and sign our petition.

Bob Barker
Western Kansas Limb Loss Support Group


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Meeting Notice

The next meeting of the Western Kansas Limb Loss Support Group is Wednesday, October 8 at 6:00PM. The meeting will be at LINK, Inc. which is located at 2401 E. 13th St. in Hays, KS. For those who cannot attend, you may join us on our conference line at 1-800-270-1153. Key in the access code 5352#.

We will be talking about dealing with back, hip, knee, and shoulder problems. We also will be updating everyone on the latest on prosthetic parity in Kansas and the nation.

Hope to see you there.

Bob Barker
Western Kansas Limb Loss Support Group


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Fight for Prosthetic Parity

The battle has begun to bring prosthetic parity to Kansas. The first battle is being fought with the Kansas Health Policy Authority (KHPA). KHPA has denied a state employee Kathleen Gustafson the right to an active and normal life by not allowing her to get a C-Leg through her state insurance. KHPA states that a prosthesis that has electronic components is a “deluxe, luxury” item and they do not cover this in their policy. What is really amazing about all of this is that KHPA also administers the Medicaid programs for Kansas and under those policies, electronic components are covered. Only a state employee is denied a micro-processor leg. As fellow amputees or suppliers for fellow amputees, this cannot be allowed. I am asking for your help.

First, we need to make our legislators aware that the citizens of Kansas will not tolerate such blatant discrimination against the employees of such a great state as Kansas. I am asking you to please write your state legislators and appeal to them to contact KHPA and change this policy Below is a sample letter that can be emailed, faxed, or mailed to your legislators. To find the mailing information of your state legislators, go to the following link .

Second, I am asking you to provide this information to all of your consumers and ask them to write their legislators.

Third, on December 2, 2008; there will be a meeting held in Topeka for a hearing on the matter. We want to fill the room with supporters. Ask employees, friends, fellow O&P’s, consumers, and anybody else to show up at this meeting and show their support. I will be posting within the next week the time and place for the meeting.

Fourth, we need all of your help as we begin the long battle to gain prosthetic parity for the citizens of Kansas. At this time, 11 states have passed parity legislation and there is a bill in both the House and Senate in Washington. We need this legislation for Kansas. In the near future, we will hold a state-wide meeting to organize a grass-roots campaign to bring prosthetic parity to Kansas. To see examples of the legislation that has passed or to read more about the prosthetic parity battle go to the Amputee Coalition of America’s link  If you would like to be involved in this effort to get prosthetic parity, please contact the Western Kansas Limb Loss Support Group and provide your complete contact information. If you would like to be part of the committee to help structure this legislature, let me know. Remember this. For those that own O&P businesses, this will help you in getting fair and equitable coverage for your clients.

For those that would like to read more about Kathleen Gustafson’s battle with the KHPA, go to .

Please support us in this so important battle for people with limb loss. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me. Please forward this email to anyone who you think might be interested.

Bob Barker
Western Kansas Limb Loss Support Group

Sample Letter

Below is a sample letter that you can send to your state representatives. Please read post above for instructions:

Dear (Senator or Representative),

I am writing on behalf of Dr. Kathleen Gustafson, a state employee at University of Kansas Medical Center. I came to know Kathleen through a mutual source with the Western Kansas Limb Loss Support Group. Dr Gustafson is having a problem getting the state insurance KHPA to cover the micro-processor leg (called a C-leg) she needs to continue living an active, normal life.
Dr. Gustafson was advised to write to the Kansas Health Care Commission and ask that they reconsider the policy that refuses to cover a prosthetic microprocessor knee. Current policy considers the knee to be "deluxe" and therefore, a non-covered item. Concerned that Dr. Gustafson’s single voice may not be heard, I am writing to plead her case.

Kansas Health Care Policy for 2009 reads:

"Coverage is limited to the basic (standard) appliance or device which will restore the body part or function. If you elect to purchase a prosthetic appliance or device with deluxe enhancements or features such as electronic components, microprocessors or other features designed to enhance performance, the Plan is only responsible for the amount that would have been allowed for a basic (standard) appliance. You will be responsible for paying the additional cost of the deluxe enhancements, electronic components, microprocessors, performance enhancements, comfort, convenience or luxury items.

Repairs - Repair or replacement costs for any otherwise covered device necessitated by loss, misuse or abuse of items owned by the Member. Charges for deluxe prosthetic appliances or devices with deluxe enhancements or features such as electronic components or microprocessors are not covered.

Prosthetists, the FDA, CMS/Medicare, AAOP, the VA, and over 150 insurance companies have recognized and accepted microprocessor-controlled knees as a standard level of prosthetic treatment. They have been used in thousands of above knee amputees - since 1997 in Europe and Canada and 1999 in the United States. Further indication of acceptance of microprocessor-controlled knees is Medicare’s assignment of L-Codes L5847 and L5989 in January 2002, the code L5848 in January 2003 and the code L5846 in January 1996. Research and patient reports show the microprocessor knee to be superior to simple hydraulic knees with improved patient function and mobility, fewer falls and injuries and less wear and tear on the sound limb.

Microprocessor knees are also standard of care for KS Medicaid recipients. Why is the standard of care different for KS State Employees? Dr. Gustafson is a valued employee of the State’s premiere medical and research center and her mobility is essential to her job and highly active lifestyle. Yet, the ability to walk normally, without assistance, is considered a luxury? Please reconsider and change this policy.

As a citizen of Kansas and a fellow amputee, I am appealing to you as a leader in the state of Kansas to assist Dr. Gustafson in obtaining the prosthesis that she needs to be able to continue to work, enjoy life, and live the normal life that is the right of every citizen.


Phone No.

Bob Barker
Western Kansas Limb Loss Support Group