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New England Region

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Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Society®
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of the

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WOCN successfully advocated for the inclusion of an important Congressional policy at the end of 2022. The Lymphedema Treatment Act was included in this last legislative vehicle to move in the 117th Congress and signed into law before the end of the year. 

 

THE LYMPHEDEMA TREATMENT ACT

This important legislation would amend Medicare statute to pay for compression garments, bandages and supplies to reduce lymphedema-related swelling and prevent recurrence. WOCN joined with other Alliance clinical groups to present best practices for lymphedema treatment as well as a comprehensive discussion of what products are used for treatment and how products are fitted. In addition, the Alliance sent a more detailed written document explaining in greater detail the following items:

  • Treatment of lymphedema from initiation to maintenance

  • Other diagnostic considerations- e.g., phlebolymphedema

  • Maintenance and fitting of the compression items

  • What is involved with the measure, fit and application of bandages and compression items

  • Input on types of items necessary to treat lymphedema in addition to compression garments

  • Expected timeframes these items last and how often they should be replaced

  • Recommendation that CMS establish HCPCS or CPT codes along with coverage and payment for the following:

    • CPT procedure codes specific for measuring, fitting and education related to compression garments. Currently there are not skill specific CPT codes for medical providers, allied health and/or fitters to account for the time and expertise required to fit/measure/provide these compression items.

    • HCPCS codes for efficacy aids named above as well as custom compression garments for all body parts.

This federal law passed on 12/23/22 went into effect on 1/1/24 to improve insurance coverage for the medically necessary, doctor-prescribed compression supplies that are the cornerstone of lymphedema treatment.

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Message from our NER of the WOCN President Mary Harris

President's Message

January, 2024

Welcome to 2024!  I’m sure you are just as shocked as I am that we are in 2024!  Where does the time go?  All you have to do is look at your children or grandchildren and say the same thing!

     As I look to this year, wondering where has the time gone.  I reflect on where and how I will lead this Region/Chapter into this year.  We all want to have a good year and do better than last year, whether it is personal or professional. 

     Your board has selected a new venue for the next 2 years for the New England Region Conference.  We will be in Mystic, CT at the Marriott.  Albrecht Event planners will assist the Education Committee with the logistics of the event for the next two years also.  I know that the Education Committee will continue to offer CEs that will lead us into tomorrow.  Please save the date:  October 25 & 26, 2024.

     This month, the executive board will be working on the budget for this year.  We remain committed to a balanced budget, and we continue to remain in the black.  With the help of the education committee and vendor commitment to our region, we were able to make a profit at this past conference. 

     Your Leadership and Membership Committees are working together to assist you with connecting to leaders and mentors.  How can we help you?  Please see our website to connect with each of your colleagues that are chairs of these committees.  https://www.newenglandwocn.org/board

     You have a new Historian for this Region, Tracey Dushame, BSN, RN, CWON.  She is working to consolidate the paper information onto a memory stick (of sorts).  She will have information to share with you at our October Conference.  If you have information or photos to share with her, please contact her at: newenglandwocn@gmail.com

     The Youth Rally is working within the new guidelines from National WOCN.  Thank you to those who brought items for our silent auction and made purchases for the kids to go to camp.  The committee is working to present to you a new application process for you to apply for a scholarship money so you can attend Youth Rally Camp as a WOC nurse counselor.  Please monitor our website, social media, and email for more information in the near future.  https://www.newenglandwocn.org/youth-rally

     Are you good with social media?  Do you have time to volunteer, even if it is short term, with the Communication Committee?  Amanda would enjoy some help with this, as she is busy working full-time, raising 3 young children and her husband also works full time.  She is the epitome of “if you want something done, give it to a busy person”.  newenglandwocn@gmail.com

     Are you someone who wants merchandise to represent and show your support for this Region?  Thank you to those who made purchases and recommendations on the evaluations.  Due to the “rules and regulations” from National, we are unable to offer this merchandise on-line.  We can only sell the merchandise at our annual conference in October.  Therefore, the board has decided to sell what we have and then stop selling any future merchandise.  Sorry, to those of you who requested a size/merchandise at this past Fall Conference, for this change.

     Public Policy Chair:  Barbara Falkowski BSN, RN, CWCN, email: NewEnglandWOCNPublicPolicy@gmail.com, is continuing to follow what is going on in our National Congress with bills and policies.  She has been following the ostomy supply bills that are happening within New England.  https://www.newenglandwocn.org/allowables Please click on this link to find out more.

     Finally, your National WOCN has a 5-year plan to restructure.  They are about halfway through this plan.  One big change you will see is:  our name and logo will change.  Our New England Region will become the New England Chapter.  Those who are affiliates within New England, will become Communities.  The date has yet to be determined for this change, stay tuned.

     National has developed a mentorship and learning tools for each region’s leadership: President, President-elect, and Treasurer.  This will help us stay legal and teach us leadership skills.  The National website has been updated and will continue to be updated with a bigger blog plan. https://www.wocn.org/wocn-members-only/  Here you will find: (1) Communities (formerly known as the Forums) are support networks for WOCN Society members to participate in discussions, share resources with one another and promote engagement. Each Community is dedicated to specific topics including wound, ostomy, continence, foot and nail, pediatrics, new members, and more.  (2) A Membership Directory (3) A Career Center (4) The JWOCN on-line link.

Sincerely Yours,

Mary Harris, BSN, RN, CWON

New England Region President

The New England Region of the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society (New England Region WOCN) is an association of WOC/ET Nurses, a division of the National Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurse’s Society (WOCN).

Our purpose is to organize and sponsor educational opportunities, support leadership and professional development, encourage evidenced based nursing practice and advocate for the delivery of quality health care to all individuals with a wound, ostomy or continence related issue.

About WOC Nursing:

Wound, ostomy and continence (WOC) nursing is a multifaceted, evidence-based practice incorporating a unique body of knowledge to provide excellence in prevention, health maintenance, therapeutic intervention, and rehabilitative nursing care to persons with select disorders of the gastrointestinal, genitourinary and integument systems. This complex, interdependent specialty encompasses the care of all patient populations across the continuum of care while providing a pivotal role as educator, researcher, and resource throughout the healthcare community. WOC nursing directs its efforts at improving the quality of life for individuals with wound, ostomy and continence concerns.

Whether you specialize in wounds, ostomies or incontinence, all three practice areas offer opportunity for professional growth as well as opportunity to play a pivotal role in the guidance of optimal patient care.

Please browse our website to learn more!

The New England Region of the Wound, Ostomy & Continence Nurses Society welcomes you to our website!

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