The American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA) has issued a call to action regarding the decision by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (OMHA) to temporarily suspend the processing of any new Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearings. OMHA is the entity in charge of the third level of Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) audit appeals; it has stated that it expects this suspension to last two years. This delay is a result of the overwhelming number of appeal requests the ALJs are receiving on a weekly basis, and the backlog of appeals they have yet to review and on which to render a verdict.
AOPA stated that this two-year delay is a clear violation of the due process afforded to suppliers and providers by the Benefits Improvements and Protection Act (BIPA) of 2000. To this extent, AOPA has addressed concerns about this announcement and the subsequent revocation of these rights with a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. AOPA is now requesting O&P professionals to forward this letter to their members of Congress and urge them to support these rights to due process. AOPA has provided a link to this letter at www.aopavotes.org