The National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics & Prosthetics (NAAOP) released a webcast on February 7 in which NAAOP General Counsel Peter Thomas, JD, provides an analysis of the debt talks, the expansion of Medicaid, and the impact these issues may have on O&P reimbursement.
- Debt ceiling: Congress suspended the debt ceiling until May 19, extending the government’s ability to borrow money and giving Congress and the president more time to reach spending agreements and agree on tax reforms geared toward balancing the budget and reducing the national debt.
- Healthcare spending: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) announced that the three-year average for healthcare spending was 1.9 percent. That figure is lower than expected and positively impacts the national debt and deficit.
- Deadlines: The 2014 national budget is expected to be released late in February or early March. On March 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will reduce all provider reimbursements by 2 percent if there is no delay or alternative agreement to prevent sequestration. The continuing resolution that funds all federal agencies will expire on March 26 unless Congress passes either a new continuing resolution through the end of fiscal year 2013 (September 30) or a series of appropriations bills to continue funding.
- Health and Human Services (HHS): Medicaid established new regulations about what will be covered as it expands to the states under the Affordable Care Act. NAAOP is working to ensure that O&P is included in those regulations.
- Medicare documentation requirements: National Government Services (NGS), the Jurisdiction B Durable Medical Equipment Medicare Administrative Contractor (DME MAC), provided additional guidance about defining functional levels and required documentation. NAAOP believes that the requirement for physician documentation creates an “onerous standard” for O&P providers.
The webcast is posted on the NAAOP website, is shared with members via e-mail, and made available through the NAAOP page on Facebook.