WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a preparatory session of the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association Policy Forum, Thomas F. Fise, JD, executive director of the association, told attendees to focus on four main “asks” during visits with their congressional representatives to discuss key O&P issues.
As past American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA) Policy Forum visits focused on many different issues, he said the association recognized attendees had been overwhelmed by the number of issues to discuss.
The four “asks” included the following:
- Support and/or co-sponsorship of the Medicare Orthotics and Prosthetics Improvement Act, S.829/H.R.1530, which would advance accreditation, recognize a certified O&P practitioner’s notes in the medical record, separate O&P from durable medical equipment (DME) and re-assert the congressional definition of “minimal self-adjustment” in relation to orthoses. The bill was introduced by Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Mark Warner, D-Va., in the Senate and Reps. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., and Mike Thompson, D-Calif., in the House.
- Support for the Wounded Warrior Workforce Enhancement Act, S.1021/H.R.1904, which would offer competitive grants totaling $15 million during a period of 3 years to academic institutions to create or expand master’s- and doctorate-level programs in O&P. The bill was introduced by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa.
- Support and/or co-sponsorship of The Prosthetic Care Modernization Act, which was written during the AOPA Policy Forum and addresses prior authorization and the administrative law judge settlement process. O&P representatives drafted the act with assistance from former Sen. Bob Kerrey.
- Help prevent the expansion of competitive bidding for durable medical equipment, prosthetic orthotic supplies (DMEPOS) and support efforts to add time, transparency and stakeholder input to any resolution of the proposed local coverage determination for lower limb prostheses.
Fise noted the bills were unlikely to pass as standalone items, but said the points could be incorporated into broader pieces of legislation.
“This could be something that is uncontroversial for the Senate to put in as part of a conference report or something else,” Fise said. “There are a lot of ways to that finish line, but we want them to be aware of it and support it.” – by Amanda Alexander
Source: Alexander A, O&P News.
Fise T. Panel #4. Presented at: American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association Policy Forum; April 26-27, 2016; Washington, D.C.
Disclosure: Fise reports no relevant financial disclosures.