Stakeholders in the amputee community met with CMS officials following the DME LCD Open Comment Meeting, held Aug. 26 in Linthicum, Md.
The private meeting was held in the office of the secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) in Washington, D.C., where the amputee community gathered for a rally against the Local Coverage Determination (LCD) for Lower Limb Prostheses proposal, according to a press release from the National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics (NAAOP).
O&P stakeholders who met included David McGill, JD, NAAOP president, and Peter Thomas, JD, NAAOP general counsel, among others. Representatives from CMS included Andrew Slavitt, acting director, and Patrick Conway, MD, MSc, acting principal deputy administrator.
“Administrator Slavitt specifically stated that Medicare officials would be speaking with the DME MAC [Durable Medical Equipment Medicare Administrative Contractor] Medical Directors to talk about this policy,” Thomas said in the release, adding he believed the response from CMS was a “positive sign.”
McGill said, “It was encouraging to hear Acting Administrator Slavitt state that his team ‘is very personally engaged’ on this issue, and it is clear that he and Dr. Conway have devoted significant time and attention to the concerns raised by NAAOP, the O&P Alliance, the Amputee Coalition and many other stakeholders.”
At the same time, Thomas and McGill noted more work needs to be done.
McGill encouraged members of the amputee community to submit formal written comments through www.SaveProsthetics.org.
“Comments made at the public meeting … while powerful, are not part of the official record the DME MAC Medical Directors will review when assessing their next steps with this draft LCD,” McGill said. “That would be impossible because literally none of the medical directors took notes during the 3 hours of public comments.”
“We are not yet at the finish line,” Thomas said. “It is imperative that as many people as possible submit comments to this proposed LCD before the Aug. 31 deadline.”