House approves Medicare bill recognizing O&P notes

The U.S. House of Representatives recently approved a bill that would recognize orthotists’ and prosthetists’ notes as part of the medical record in Medicare medical necessity determinations.

The bill, called the Medicare Part B Improvement Act of 2017 (H.R. 3178), was approved by the full House by consent, according to the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA). It will now go to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

According to an AOPA press release, “AOPA wants to recognize and thank Reps. Mike Bishop (R-MI and a Ways & Means member), Glenn Thompson (R-PA) who advanced the similar provision as part of the broader Medicare O&P Improvement Act, H.R. 2599, and Mike Thompson (D-CA and a Ways & Means Committee member), and both House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Richard Neal (D-MA and the Ranking Minority Member of the Ways & Means Committee), for their strong support which resulted in this important action. . Now it is on to the Senate, where S. 1191, the Grassley-Warner bill, supported by Senators [Bill] Cassidy (R-LA) and [Tammy] Duckworth (D-IL) will hopefully move forward similarly to favorable action.”

The bill is a collection of six smaller measures aimed at improving Medicare Part B programs, and includes a section entitled, “Orthotist’s and Prosthetist’s Clinical Notes as Part of the Patient’s Medical Record.” The measure would include clinical notes from orthotists and prosthetists, regarding the necessity of O&P devices, as part of a patient’s medical record.

The language states: “For purposes of determining the reasonableness and medical necessity of orthotics and prosthetics, documentation created by an orthotist or prosthetist shall be considered part of the patient’s medical record to support documentation created by eligible professionals described in section 1848(k)(3)(B).”



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