AOPA Advocates in COVID-19 Legislative Efforts

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The American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA) said it has been advocating on behalf of its members to ensure that the needs of O&P practitioners, suppliers, and patients are considered when drafting relief legislation in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

"We serve every patient population, from infants to the elderly, and in many healthcare settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, and of course our own facilities. This care simply cannot stop because of the spread of COVID-19," AOPA wrote in a letter to members of Congress.

AOPA said it is working to ensure that O&P is included in a proposal to provide companies affected by the virus with federally guaranteed loans at low rates throughout the crisis. In addition, it is communicating with Senators to ensure that O&P businesses have clear access to the proposed $300 billion in forgivable bridge loans for small businesses, pressing for O&P's inclusion in up to $400 billion in relief for hospitals, and ensuring authorizing language would cover contracted employees, such as orthotists and prosthetists.

AOPA has also worked with Veteran's Affairs committee staff on inclusion of language to ensure that veterans who are receiving or are eligible to receive a prosthetic appliance have the choice to receive such care from a community provider under contract with the department during the pandemic, ensuring continuity of care.

In response to COVID-19, the Senate Finance Committee is considering a temporary elimination of the 2 percent sequestration-based reduction in Medicare payments from May 1 through the end of 2020. AOPA said it supports the provision and will continue to advocate for the legislation.