AOPA letter to HHS receives congressional support

A letter to Sylvia Burwell, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, led by Reps. Ryan Costello, R-Pa., and Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., received signatures from 26 members of Congress in support of initiatives spearheaded by the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association.

The completion of the letter was announced in an email from Thomas F. Fise, JD, executive director of the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA), to the AOPA board of directors and allied organizations who supported the initiative.

The letter makes three requests: a revision of the definition of “off-the-shelf” (OTS) orthoses; modification of codes on the OTS list, including elimination of any device that does not qualify as “minimally self-adjusted” according to the statutory definition; and the reversal of the Durable Medical Equipment Medicare Administrative Contractor action of Aug. 15, 2014, which was not included in the final rule.

“If HHC/CMS take this message seriously, it would mark … the conclusion to a 15-year struggle to get Medicare to implement and enforce the provisions on licensure and accreditation for O&P that Congress enacted in Section 472 of BIPA [Beneficiary Improvement and Protection Act] of 2000,” Fise wrote in the email.

Fise added that the action in the letter would also “reverse Medicare’s misguided effort to expand the relatively narrow category of off-the-shelf orthotics beyond the strict terms of the definition Congress … established with the ‘minimal self-adjustment criteria.’”

The full letter, along with a full list of signatures, can be found here.


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