On July 20, 2016 CMS's Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC) held a meeting focused on obtaining recommendations regarding treatment strategies for patients with lower extremity chronic venous disease. MEDCAC, formerly known as the Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee is advisory in nature, with all final coverage decisions resting with CMS. MEDCAC is used to supplement CMS' internal expertise. The MEDCAC panel examined the scientific evidence underpinning the benefit and risk of existing lower extremity chronic venous disease treatments that aim to improve health outcomes in the Medicare population. This meeting also sought to identify evidence gaps that exist related to lower extremity chronic venous disease.
At the meeting, WOCN member Stephanie Yates, a Certified Wound Ostomy and Continence nurse at the Duke University Health System, testified that WOC nurses are regularly involved in the treatment of venous leg ulcers via selection of dressings and compression therapy. As such the WOCN Society identified the need for leadership and developed an evidence- and consensus-based algorithm focusing on compression for primary prevention, treatment and prevention of recurrence of venous leg ulcers. The algorithm and its supporting research were published in the Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing (JWOCN) and can be found here. The WOCN Society provided a copy of the algorithm and journal article to CMS staff prior to the meeting for the Committee's review.