On March 17, the House introduced the Medicare O&P Patient-Centered Care Act (HR 1990). It was introduced in the Senate on July 29 (S. 2556). This bipartisan legislation would improve access to, and quality of, orthotic and prosthetic care while simultaneously combating fraud and abuse. Note: The Senate and House versions of the bill are identical. Thank you for your help getting this vital legislation re-introduced.
To move this legislation forward, we need to garner as much support as possible for it. Please write to your Representative and urge them to support this important legislation – simply enter your information on the platform, personalize the letter as you see fit – it’s important to tell YOUR story – and click send. The process will take you just a few minutes; however, educating Congress on the issues surrounding the O&P profession is vital to businesses and more importantly patients – if we don’t advocate for our needs and the needs of patients, no one will.
A high priority for AOPA, this bill would:
- Restore congressional intent by revising the overly expansive regulatory interpretation of the meaning of “off-the-shelf” (OTS) orthotics to clarify that competitive bidding may only apply to orthoses that require minimal self-adjustment by patients themselves, not the patient’s caregiver or a supplier.
- Distinguish the clinical, service-oriented nature in which O&P is provided from the commodity-based nature of the durable medical equipment (DME) benefit. Orthotics and prosthetics care include a patient care component that is decidedly more in-depth and personal than simply supplying DME. Most orthotic and prosthetic devices are custom fabricated or custom fit and require the expertise of an orthotist or prosthetist who receive Master of Science degrees and residence training before becoming certified practitioners.
- Reduce the likelihood of waste, fraud, and abuse in the Medicare program by prohibiting the practice of “drop shipping” (shipping an orthoses or prostheses to a beneficiary without first receiving direct patient care from a trained, certified or licensed health care practitioner) of orthotic braces that are not truly “off-the-shelf” (i.e., subject to minimal self-adjustment by the patient him- or herself).
Visit AOPAvotes to request that your lawmakers co-sponsor the bill.
If you have any questions, contact Ashlie White, Director of Health Policy and Strategic Affairs at awhite@AOPAnet.org.
Thank you for your efforts!
AOPA Advocacy in Action Webinar Recordings:
Advocating for our members and promoting the value of the O&P profession to legislators and policymakers is an important priority for AOPA. To do this, we address legislative and regulatory issues that affect all aspects of the industry, as well as patients. We also strive to keep our members informed about Washington’s legislative and regulatory activities through AOPAvotes and our twice-weekly SmartBrief updates.