The National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics (NAAOP) released a webcast in which Peter Thomas, JD, general counsel for NAAOP and the O&P Alliance, discussed the Virtual Congressional Advocacy Day, the latest members of the Breece Fellowship, and NAAOP’s efforts on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility (DEIA).
This summer’s two Breece Fellows, Lucas DeLuca and Nikki Grace-Strader will take a lead role in organizing the NAAOP virtual Congressional fly in to encourage Congress to pass the Medicare O&P Patient-Centered Care Act (H.R. 1990 and S. 2556) and to educate policymakers on impending policy issues involving osseointegration.
DeLuca and Grace-Strader fellows will spend time shadowing Thomas, learning about O&P advocacy and policy issues, and the broader rehabilitation and disability fields.
Throughout the summer, fellows will have opportunities to meet with elected leaders and Capitol Hill staff to promote NAAOP’s priorities, including the Medicare O&P Patient-Centered Care Act (H.R. 1990 and S. 2556) and educating policymakers on the issue of osseointegrated prostheses.
DeLuca works as the director of a disability services office in Washington state providing accommodations to students with a range of different disabilities. As part of the fellowship, Lucas will help lead the NAAOP’s efforts on DEIA practices and will work to create more resources dedicated to enhancing prosthetist and patient experiences.
Passage of the Medicare O&P Patient-Centered Care Act would accomplish key priorities for the O&P profession, which would help distinguish O&P clinical care from durable medical equipment (DME), including:
- Limiting the definition of off-the-shelf (OTS) orthotics to devices that truly require only “minimal self-adjustment” by the beneficiary only
- Banning drop-shipping to patients of custom-fitted and custom-fabricated orthoses and prostheses to ensure access to clinical care, and
- Exempting licensed and certified O&P practitioners from OTS competitive bidding, treating them similarly to physicians and therapists by allowing them to provide OTS orthoses to their patients without a contract at the competitive bidding rate.
To view the webcast, visit the NAAOP website.