CMS Withdraws BIPA 427 Proposed Rule

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has elected to withdraw the proposed rule that represented the first step in creating regulations that would implement the qualified provider provisions for prostheses and custom-fabricated orthoses legislated in section 427 of the Benefits Improvement and Protection Act of 2000 (BIPA). CMS withdrew the proposed rule because of "the cost and time burdens that the proposed rule would create for many providers and suppliers, particularly the cost and burden for those providers and suppliers that are small businesses, and the complexity of the issues raised in the detailed public comments," according to its announcement.

The combination of the federal administration's philosophy to reduce overall regulatory burden on businesses, the significant opposition from several high-profile provider groups, and the restrictive language that would significantly limit certain providers from continuing to provide custom orthoses and prostheses, were factors that led to the withdrawal of the proposed rule, according to the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA). CMS indicated it received more than 5,000 public comments regarding the proposed rule.

AOPA expressed disappointment with CMS' decision to withdraw the proposed rule that was designed to create regulations to implement a law that had passed more than 17 years ago. AOPA believed the issues that were concerning to several provider groups, who viewed the proposed rule as a threat to their ability to continue to provide services within their scope of practice, but could have been addressed through changes to the final rule rather than through the complete withdrawal of the proposed rule.

The notice of withdrawal was published in the October 4 Federal Register.