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Frequently Asked Questions

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1.     Do I need to be certified as a lymphedema therapist to treat individuals with lymphedema?

A: NO, as long as you are a licensed physical therapist/assistant or occupational therapist/ assistant. Lymphedema is a subcategory of edema and is under our practice act.

2.     Do I need to be certified in order for Medicare to reimburse my facility?

A: NO, again as long as you are a licensed physical therapist/assistant or occupational therapist/ assistant your treatments are covered. The reimbursement difficulty is for those providers such as massage therapists or nurses. These providers typically must work under the supervision of a PT/OT or physician to receive reimbursement

3.     How do I bill for lymphedema treatments?

A: Billing codes for lymphedema are tied to the intention of the intervention, just like all of our other diagnoses. For example, manual lymphatic drainage mobilizations fall under the Manual Therapy code. Bandaging interventions can fall under therapeutic exercise codes.

4.      Why is the regional lab course “Management of Peripheral Edema” 6 days?

A: The regional lab course is 6 days as it covers the treatment techniques for the entire body. There is no COOKBOOK intervention for peripheral edema, so sufficient lab time is needed to competently address various treatment options available for each patient.

5.       I don’t want to treat lymphedema, I just want to use these techniques for my orthopedic post-surgical patients. Do I need to take this 6-day regional lab course?

A:  Foundational knowledge in edema management and basic compression and manual lymph drainage skills are essential for best practice with orthopedic post surgical patients. This course will address these components. These techniques have to potential to reduce edema faster than “PRICE.”

6.     Is certification important?

A:  Certification gives each participant documentation of their knowledge in edema management for marketing, employers and third party payers. Once the participant has successfully passed both the didactic material via EDUCATA, and the edema lab course skills practical, the following designation is granted: Certified Edema Specialist (CES).

7.     What is Certification of Achievement in Oncology Physical Therapy (CAOPT)?

A: CAOPT is a program developed by the Oncology section, leading educators, researchers and clinicians to provide comprehensive physical therapy evaluation, differential diagnosis and treatment in various clinical domains. Certification focuses on one or a limited set of skills or knowledge related to oncologic physical therapy practice. Specialization focuses on all of the knowledge and skills required for advanced oncologic physical therapy practice. The CES is one offering under the Certificate of Achievement in Oncologic Physical Therapy. In the future, there will be multiple offerings. 

8.     Can this course be counted toward LANA certification? 

A: This Management of Peripheral Edema course credit hours can be applied for those who wish to achieve LANA certification. 

9.     Is the Management of Peripheral Edema required in order to sit for the Oncology Specialization exam? 

A:  No, this certification is not required in order to sit for the Oncology Specialization exam. However it provides the therapist a strong knowledge based for evaluating and treating patients with peripheral edema and lymphedema and assists in preparing for the oncology specialization exam. (as it relates to secondary lymphedema)

10.     What does the CES lab course include? 

A:   The CES course is a 6-day case-based lab. Cases presented follow the ICF model, which include orthopedic- and trauma-related edema, cancer-related lymphedema, and chronic venous insufficiency with and without lymphedema, as well as systemic causes of peripheral edema.  Management of peripheral edema for all body parts, no matter what the cause, will be presented. The labs include a wide variety of interventions, including manual lymphatic drainage mobilizations; compression bandaging, braces and garments; joint mobilizations, soft tissue mobilizations, and progressive resistance exercise programs. The content applies to a wide variety of practice settings, including acute care, inpatient, outpatient and home health.

11.     What should I bring to the course?

A:  You should bring your handouts from the EDUCATA modules (completion of these modules and passing all post-tests is a pre-requisite). You will receive a bandaging kit in the lab course. Please feel free to bring any extra supplies you want and questions regarding supplies. Be sure to dress comfortably (shorts, halter tops, etc.). Lab clothes are a must as you will be practicing all the bandaging and MLD techniques on each other.

12.     Will we be practicing on each other, real patients, or talking about treatments?

A:  Participants will be practicing on each other. It is difficult to practice on real patients due to licensure laws. Each day begins with a case presentation followed by lab and integration of lymphedema and physical therapy intervention techniques . Emphasis is on an individualized plan of care for each patient case.


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