Take Two for April 24, 2013

Navigating insurance coverage limits can be difficult for amputees

TO GO WITH AFP STORY SCIENCE-US-MILITARY

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

Todd Kuiken (L), Director of the Center for Bionic Medicine and Director of Amputee Services at The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), explains the bionic arm on Glen Lehman (R), a retired sergeant first class in the United States Army who received Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR) surgery after he lost his arm in Iraq, during a presentation of the latest in TMR, a bionic limb technology, during the opening press briefing and a subsequent symposium at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Washington, DC, February 17, 2011.

At least 13 victims of the Boston marathon bombing underwent amputation surgeries and must learn to navigate the world with a prosthetic device. Likewise, the obesity and diabetes epidemic in this country has increased the incidence of disease-related amputations.

But aside from the difficulty of surgery, it may also prove challenging for these patients to navigate the world of private insurance, which, unlike the military, can have spotty coverage for advanced prosthetic devices.

Dan Ignaszewski, director of government relations at the Amputee Coalition of America, joins the show with more. 


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