Speakers: Changes in the works for AAOP

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — With new leadership in place, the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists is working to improve its offerings for members of the O&P community, according to Richard Miller, CO, the organization’s new president-elect. Miller, who is a third-year board member with the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP), also chairs the organization’s Professional Issues Council.

Miller highlighted some new and upcoming offerings for members along with Lydia Middleton, MBA, CAE, the organization’s new executive director, at the New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (NJAAOP) Annual Meeting, here.

The AAOP currently has about 2,800 members and 11 chapters — including the NJAAOP — nationwide, which Miller noted function as independent organizations with their own charters.

Miller said the AAOP is reviewing its State-of-the-Science Conferences, which were developed to provide clinical guidance for evidence-based best practices, as well as to identify strategic research priorities to support clinical decisions.

“Currently, that whole conference program is being reassessed and new programming guidelines are being developed by [AAOP] past President Michelle [J.] Hall, [FAAOP],” Miller said. “One of the things that is coming up is the rollout of the new State-of-the-Science program.”

The AAOP recently published an evidence note titled, “Differences in myoelectric and body-powered upper-limb prostheses,” which Miller said is an example of the deliverable items the organization will focus on with the State-of-the-Science program. Miller encouraged O&P practitioners to share the evidence notes with referral sources. Evidence notes are available for free on the AAOP website for both members and non-members.

Miller said the Local Coverage Determination (LCD) for Lower Limb Prostheses draft remains a focus for the AAOP Professional Issues Council. Although the progress of the LCD recently was halted by CMS, Miller said, “That is absolutely a win, but the fight is not over. It is just beginning.” AAOP will continue to work with its partners in the O&P Alliance to make O&P voices heard in the LCD work group and at any future public comment meetings, he said.

Middleton said the AAOP will soon roll out a new website, as well as a new platform for its Paul E. Leimkuehler Online Learning Center. The new website will be launched at the AAOP Annual Meeting in March 2016. Middleton said the new site will provide “tremendous opportunities for engagement with our members, with each other and with the organization.” The site will allow members to discuss and share information, and will include O&P job postings.

The organization also will conduct a member needs assessment during the next few months including focus groups at the upcoming meeting, Middleton said, so that AAOP leadership can learn “what we can be doing to help you do your jobs as effectively, efficiently and at the highest quality you possibly can.” This will lead to an assessment of current programs and offerings in order to make further improvements.  -by Amanda Alexander


Miller R. National Academy Update. Presented at: New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting; Nov. 4-6, 2015; Atlantic City.

Disclosures: Miller and Middleton report no relevant financial disclosures.

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