Amy Purdy, who last year inspired millions both with her medal-winning performance at the Paralympic snowboarding competition in Sochi and with an emotionally breathtaking series of performances on “Dancing With the Stars” culminating in a second place finish, is taking on a new challenge. Purdy is leading the charge against a proposed Medicare change that could limit amputees from getting the prosthetic care they need.
A public outreach campaign has been launched, led by Purdy, a bilateral amputee who lost both of her legs below the knee after a battle with bacterial meningitis; amputee groups and advocates all over the country; and Freedom Innovations, an Irvine, California based company that creates prosthetic devices that provide people with physical challenges the ability to reach their full potential.
Medicare, through its contractors, has proposed new coverage, coding, and clinical care guidelines that, if implemented, install new barriers that would limit and potentially deny access to appropriate prosthetic care. The changes, for example, would eliminate coverage for certain prosthetic devices that amputees depend on to take comfortable steps every day.
“The reason I am able to live a full life is because my legs fit well and I am able to receive the level of prosthetic to match my full potential,” said Purdy. “If this Medicare change happens, kids potentially will not be able to get the prosthetics and care they need to run, play and progress as a normal child would and people like me would be limited in our ability level. This proposed change impacts those of us relying on prosthetics in an enormous way! Prosthetic legs are not a luxury! Without proper prosthetics our quality of life, health and financial wellbeing are all compromised!!”
Purdy, Freedom Innovations and the amputee community at large are currently reaching out to the general public to help send a message to the White House via a petition and letter writing campaign asking for the new Medicare draft policy to be rescinded. Anyone who wants to voice support for this effort is encouraged to do so by visiting http://www.saveprosthetics.org/