AOPA Advocacy on Behalf of YOU


On November 22, the House introduced H.R. 5262, the Medicare Orthotics and Prosthetics Patient-Centered Care Act. While the bill enjoys broad bipartisan support, it’s imperative that we add as many cosponsors as possible, to illustrate the importance of the bill to legislators. To that end and with your help, nearly 1,100 advocates wrote to their members of Congress in support of the bill.

In late June Sen. Steve Daines agreed to be the Republican lead for the Senate version of the bill, which is expected to be introduced in late July. Daines and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) will introduce and lead the bill, which will also be sponsored by Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI).

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.

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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.