Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) has been a condition very difficult to treat and with expensive treatments, which are not covered by most insurances. Now, Medicare is investing in an alternative treatment which promises similar results, with fewer costs.
The famous American insurance program for people over 65, Medicare, has started to finance an alternative treatment for patients suffering from PAD. The company will cover the costs for supervised exercise therapy in order to determine if the treatment is effective.
The research shows promising results, suggesting that exercise overseen by a medical professional improves the distances patients suffering from PAD can walk and with it also their quality of life. This treatment could replace the costly surgeries and the drugs prescribed, most of which are rather ineffective.
PAD is a disease caused mostly by smoking or connected with diabetes and it often is associated with strokes, amputations and heart attacks.
More rehab centers get involved
After the success of the experiment financed by Medicare, 2,600 rehab centers (hospital-based) are receiving an influx of patients and in the future, even younger patients might be treated with their insurance covering the cost.
This is great news since nearly 8 million Americans are affected by PAD, out of which 2 million have leg pains. The pain is usually described by the patients as a cramping feeling, very painful.
Diane Treat-Jacobson from the University of Minnesota has been studying the disease and her research indicated that patients who walk short sessions while enduring the pain have a better chance of improving their condition. PAD can be detected by an ankle and blood pressure test.
Medicare has also announced that in January it will pay for 12 weeks of supervised exercise with a doctor’s referral. The sessions will be three times a week.