Medicare Approves Treadmill Treatment

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a clogging of blood vessels that is common among diabetics and smokers. It makes walking difficult, but that is exactly what doctors recommend their patients do. Until now, programs that monitor patients walking on treadmills were not paid by Medicare so many patients did not get the care they needed.

About 8 million Americans suffer from PAD and Medicare has paid close to $4 billion per year for other treatments for PAD, including surgery. The move to cover treadmill walking is expected to reduce this cost substantially by reducing the number of hospitalizations. Experiments has shown that regular walking on a treadmill works just as well as stents and balloons to unblock blood vessels, but at a much lower cost. However, stopping walking results in the return of pain.

Other insurers generally adopt Medicare decisions as their own, so treadmill therapy is expected to grow substantially in popularity.

Leave a Reply

Anti-spam: * *