NAAOP Webcast: Congress Returns to a Packed Legislative Agenda

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The National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics (NAAOP) has released a webcast in which NAAOP General Counsel Peter Thomas, JD, discusses Congress' return to work this month and the daunting set of challenges it faces. A summary of the webcast follows:

The federal debt limit needs to be increased in order for the federal government to continue meeting its financial obligations. The federal government's agencies need to be funded by October 1 or the government will shut down, and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) needs to be reauthorized by the end of September or authority to run SCHIP will expire.

Complicating this packed legislative agenda is the need for federal funding to address the immediate and ongoing needs created by Hurricane Harvey. The O&P community will be discussing the profession's response to this colossal storm and seek ways to assist those impacted.

Several policy issues continue to be front and center for NAAOP. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently signaled that it may withdraw the section 427 regulations in the Benefits Improvement and Protection Act (BIPA) of 2000 that link provider and supplier qualifications with Medicare billing privileges. While it appears that CMS has not yet made a final decision, NAAOP and its Alliance partners are working hard to ensure that CMS presses forward with final publication of regulations involving this section of the law, which was passed 17 years ago but never fully implemented.

The Interagency Workgroup on Lower Limb Prosthetics, which was convened in the wake of the Draft Local Coverage Determination (LCD) for Lower Limb Prostheses is expected to release a consensus statement soon, though the timing is still unclear. Once the Workgroup releases its statement, NAAOP will submit public comments.

Meanwhile, Congress continues to address O&P legislation by passing legislation in the House that recognizes the relevance of prosthetists' and orthotists' clinical documentation as part of the patients' medical records for purposes of determining the medical necessity of submitted claims. NAAOP is working with its Alliance partners to ensure that Congress passes this provision, along with other aspects of the Medicare O&P Improvement Act this year.

NAAOP also continues to work toward passage of the Injured and Amputee Veterans Bill of Rights (H.R. 2322), which is designed to educate veterans about their rights to quality O&P care and enable them to become their own best advocate in securing such care.

Finally, NAAOP acknowledges and congratulates American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA) on its 100th anniversary. NAAOP is also proud to recognize its own 30-year anniversary as NAAOP. Its unending gratitude goes out to its members and supporters who have enabled NAAOP to speak on behalf of O&P practitioners and the patients they serve for the past three decades.

The webcast is posted on the NAAOP website, on NAAOP's YouTube channel as well as oandp.com, shared with members via email, and made available through the NAAOP page on Facebook.