The National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics (NAAOP) has released a video webcast wherein NAAOP General Counsel Peter Thomas, JD, discusses the legislation to fix the Medicare physician fee schedule, the temporary rescission of audits for dates of service before August 2011, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Lower Limb Prosthesis Electronic Template.
Medicare Physician Fee Schedule
Thomas says it’s possible that permanently fixing the Medicare physician fee schedule has momentum over past temporary patches, however, because the cost of the bill isn’t offset by other Medicare cuts, all Medicare providers and suppliers are subject to reductions in reimbursement should the legislation proceed. NAAOP, therefore, is proposing the Medicare O&P Improvement Act to Congress, which would link the qualifications of O&P providers with the ability to bill the Medicare program.
In July, Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs) rescinded a number of O&P audits that had dates of service before August 2011, but shortly thereafter, CMS “disavowed knowledge of any coordinated decision,” and allowed the audits to stand. The August 2011 date is at the heart of the lawsuit against CMS filed by the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA). NAAOP said it will report new developments on the RAC issue as they occur.
Physician Documentation Template
CMS recently held its second Open Door Forum about developing a documentation template for lower-limb prostheses that will be used in connection with physician electronic medical records. Thomas notes that the data elements are almost exclusively medical in nature and are clearly directed at physicians, not prosthetists. These and other concerns were presented to CMS through written comments sent by the O&P Alliance in June, but CMS has not yet responded to these concerns. NAAOP said it will press the case directly with CMS and in conjunction with the O&P Alliance.
The webcast is posted on the NAAOP website, shared with members via e-mail, and made available through the NAAOP page on Facebook.