The National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics has called on its members to contact their representatives in Congress to support a pair of bills that it called “two important pieces of O&P legislation.”
“Last week was an important week for the orthotic and prosthetic community. The O&P Policy Forum was held, and about 100 people attended including [National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics] NAAOP’s leadership,” Peter W. Thomas, JD, general counsel for the NAAOP, said in a YouTube address to members. “The [American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association] AOPA organization sponsored the forum, and there was a tremendous number of [Capitol] Hill visits that occurred to promote a number of pieces of important legislation for the O&P community. I wanted to highlight two of them and ask for your help today.”
The Medicare O&P Improvement Act, introduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 2599) and the U.S. Senate (S. 1191), would introduce several proposals that would be “beneficial” to the O&P community, Thomas said.
According to a press release, the bill would recognize orthotists’ and prosthetists’ notes as part of the medical record; separate durable medical equipment from O&P in federal regulations; and direct CMS to fully implement a Medicare law that requires O&P qualifications in order to obtain reimbursement for custom care. The bill would also clarify off-the-self orthotics to restore Congressional intent and mandate HHS refine its data on O&P audits and appeals, in order to better track reversal rates and other important information throughout the appeals process, Thomas said.
The other bill, the Injured and Amputee Veterans Bill of Rights, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 2322), but does not have a U.S. Senate counterpart at this time.
According to the release, the bill would require the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to prominently post a list of rights regarding O&P care in every VA prosthetics and orthotics clinic. The list would also be required to be posted on the VA website.
According to Thomas, both bills have been introduced in past Congresses. However, neither has, so far, been successful. Template letters in support of the bills are available at the NAAOP website, through the Congressional Action Center page.