The National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics has issued the following call to action for the O&P community:
NAAOP, and injured and amputee veterans across the country, need your help.
On September 29, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced its opposition to H.R. 5428, the Injured and Amputee Veterans Bill of Rights. This comes as a surprise, as the VA supported a similar bill in the 110th Congress in the summer of 2008. We need your help to illustrate why H.R. 5428 needs to become law this year.
Please contact one or two of your VA patients who have had problems with the orthotic or prosthetic care provided by the VA and ask them to write to NAAOP today with their experience. It is critical that they explain how the Bill of Rights would have made their experience with the VA a better one. NAAOP will package all the letters together and present them to Congress to demonstrate why the VA Bill of Rights must be passed now.
The Injured and Amputee Veterans Bill of Rights is federal legislation that seeks to ensure that veterans know their rights about their O&P care. The bill would mandate that all VA O&P clinics post a written list of rights that all veterans have, including the right to:
- Access the highest quality prosthetic and orthotic care;
- The most appropriate technology and best-qualified practitioners;
- Select the practitioner that best meets their O&P needs, whether or not that practitioner is an employee of the VA, a private VA contractor, or a private practitioner with specialized expertise;
- Continuity of care in the transition from the Department of Defense (DoD) health program to the VA health system, including comparable O&P benefits;
- Consistent and comparable services and technology across the country;
- Timely and efficient O&P care, including speedy authorizations;
- A second opinion for O&P treatment options; and
- A primary orthosis/prosthesis and a functional spare.
NAAOP is proud that Congressman Bob Filner (D-CA), Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, recently reintroduced H.R. 5428. Your active involvement is critical to help him pass this bill.
NAAOP urges all O&P providers to contact their VA patients who have had difficult experiences with the VA meeting their O&P needs. Urge them to document their story, tell how the rights listed above would have helped them if this legislation were already in place, and state their support for immediate enactment of the Injury and Amputee Veterans Bill of Rights.
All letters should be sent to the following address:
Attn: Peter W. Thomas, General Counsel
1501 M Street, N.W., 7th Floor
Washington, DC 20005-1700
You may also scan your letter and send it by e-mail it to [email protected] or fax it to 202.785.1756
If you have questions, please call 800.622.6740