The National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics announced it has exceeded the 100,000 signatures needed to proceed with its “We the People” White House petition. The petition, created July 31, calls for the White House administration to rescind the draft policy proposal for Local Coverage Determination (LCD) for Lower Limb Prosthetics. The four Durable Medical Equipment Medicare Administrative Contractors (DME MACs) released the 40-page LCD online in July.
All petitions receiving 100,000 signatures or more require a formal response from the White House, according to a National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics (NAAOP) press release.
“This is a significant achievement,” David McGill, JD, president of NAAOP, said in the release. “One hundred thousand signatures in only 17 days demonstrates that the public recognizes the major deficiencies of the draft LCD. Clearly, the restrictions on access to appropriate care resulting from this proposed policy resonate with amputees, the health care professionals who treat them, and the American public. NAAOP looks forward to the White House’s response.”
“The 40-page proposed LCD completely re-writes coverage, coding and reimbursement policy for artificial legs in a way that will severely limit access to modern technology and standards of prosthetic care,” Peter W. Thomas, JD, General Counsel for NAAOP, said. “As a bilateral below-knee amputee since age ten, I have witnessed modern prosthetic care become an American health care success story. The Proposed LCD will relegate amputees like me to antiquated and less functional prostheses. It will turn back the clock on lower limb amputees, who in recent years have achieved remarkable levels of health, function, activity, and independence.”
The petition was endorsed and promoted by organizations including the Amputee Coalition, the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA), the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP), the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics (ABC), the Board of Certification, International (BOC) and the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE), as well the Independence Through Enhancement of Medicare and Medicaid (ITEM) Coalition, which represents rehabilitation hospitals, physician organizations and disability groups.
“NAAOP helped coordinate efforts by designing a webpage at www.SaveProsthetics.org which proved to be highly effective in educating the amputee, the prosthetic profession, and the general public about this issue,” Paul E. Prusakowski, CPO, FAAOP, past president of NAAOP, said. “The site has a wealth of information on this proposed policy.”
George W. Breece, executive director of NAAOP, added, “Cracking the 100,000 signature mark is only the first step in a multi-pronged effort to get the draft LCD rescinded. While we are gratified at the response to the petition, there are still a number of actions we need people to take in order to keep the momentum rolling and build on the petition’s success.”
Formal comments on the draft policy must be submitted by Aug. 31, 2015. The DME MACs will host a public meeting Aug. 26, 2015 to gather comments on the policy.
More information on the policy is available at www.SaveProsthetics.org, where visitors can also sign the petition or submit a statement.