VA prosthetics bill expected to be addressed in Senate

Progress is still expected in Congress regarding orthotic and prosthetic legislature, despite potential military action in Syria and the debate over defunding the government, according to a webcast released by the National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics & Prosthetics (NAAOP).

The House recently reintroduced the Insurance Fairness for Amputees Act, and the Medicare O&P Improvement Act is pending reintroduction, but the biggest improvements are expected with the likely reintroduction of the Injured and Amputee Veterans Bill of Rights.

The VA Bill of Rights, which seeks to inform veterans of their rights to appropriate prosthetic care and technology, was passed in the House in December 2010, but Congress adjourned before the Senate could act. Now, bipartisan commitment has been demonstrated in support of addressing this legislation.

“We are working to get that legislation introduced, and we expect to have some new information in the near future,” Peter W. Thomas, JD, general counsel for the NAAOP, stated in the webcast. “We will be calling on you to try to contact your member of Congress to see if you can get them to cosponsor the legislation.”

Thomas also addressed the Electronic Clinical Documentation Template proposed by CMS. According to Thomas, CMS plans to move forward with the design and implementation of the template primarily for physician use.

“The problem is that the template is way too medical and doesn’t accurately capture functional status or potential of the individual,” Thomas stated. “It really is designed for physicians alone. It further undercuts the value of prosthetists’ notes and clinical records and really does not do a good enough job in terms of incorporating the prosthetist into the process of determining medical necessity of prosthetic care under Medicare.”

The NAAOP continues to communicate with CMS to possibly revise the template before it is implemented.

To watch the entire webcast, visit;Orthotics-and-Prosthetics

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