AOPA requests CMS withdraw ‘Dear Physician’ letter

Thomas Mills, of the law firm Winston and Strawn and counsel for the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA) regarding issues with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), has submitted a second letter to Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services, and Marilyn Tavenner, the acting administrator for CMS, requesting withdrawal of the “Dear Physician” letter.

In addition to requesting removal of the “Dear Physician” letter, which AOPA said has caused a burdensome increase in Recovery Audit Contractor audits and payment delays, the letter requests that CMS contractors consider a prosthetist’s notes as part of a patient’s medical record. The letter also insists that CMS contractors should explicitly explain any disallowance of claims for prosthetic devices.

“AOPA continues to maintain the ‘Dear Physician’ letter was ‘improperly issued’ without following the necessary procedures allowing public comment,” AOPA wrote in a statement. “The letter also points out that CMS’s own manual recognizes that prosthetists’s records are entitled to the same deference as physician records.”

This letter was written to supplement an initial letter that was sent to Tavenner on December 14, 2012. AOPA has requested a response by April 29.

To read the entire letter, visit here.

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