The National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics (NAAOP) released its latest webcast in which Peter Thomas, JD, discussed the Medicare O&P Patient Centered Care Act, which has been reintroduced in the House of Representatives.
Representatives Mike Thompson (D-CA), Glenn Thompson (R-PA), G. K. Butterfield (D-NC), and Brett Guthrie (R-KY) have reintroduced the bipartisan Medicare Orthotics and Prosthetics Patient-Centered Care Act (H.R 1990). Thomas said NAAOP strongly supports this legislation along with the organization that took the lead on introduction of this legislation, the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association, and the other O&P Alliance members.
The bill is identical to the House version of the bill (H.R. 5262) introduced in 2020, which means awareness and support for the bill from the previous Congress can continue to be built upon, he said.
Passage of the bill would accomplish four key priorities for O&P:
- Distinguish durable medical equipment from clinical, service-oriented O&P care in the Medicare statute and regulations, leading to recognition of the clinical care O&P practitioners provide.
- Limit the definition of off-the-shelf (OTS) orthotics to devices that truly require only minimal self-adjustment by the beneficiary. This would help ensure that patients continue to have access to the clinical orthotic services they need.
- Ban drop-shipping of custom-fitted and custom-fabricated orthoses and prostheses to patients’ homes to prevent fraud and abuse and ensure patient access to clinical O&P care.
- Exempt 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 (not the higher fee schedule amount).
NAAOP is encouraging everyone in O&P to visit NAAOP’s website and access its action page to email your representatives and ask them to cosponsor this bill.
The webcast is also posted on the NAAOP website