The National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics (NAAOP) has released a new video webcast in which NAAOP General Counsel Peter Thomas, JD, issues a call to action for the O&P community:
We at NAAOP don’t often ask you to contact your members of Congress, but today is different. There are two major letters that our legislative champions in Congress are spearheading, and we need your help to get as many legislators to sign on in support. We also want to update you on the “One Limb Per Lifetime” restriction in New York and ask you to sign an online petition.
Please, today, go to www.naaop.org and click on the Congressional Legislative Action Center link. There you will be able to easily determine how to contact your member of Congress and ask him or her to sign on in support of two different congressional letters. These letters will be closed for sign on soon, so please contact your member of Congress right away. The letters address two issues:
Secretary Burwell Letter: Led by Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Congressman Ryan Costello (R-PA), this bipartisan letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Burwell requests her to take two actions:
- Finally issue proposed regulations that link the right to bill Medicare with O&P practitioner credentials (these regulations are 15 years past due), and
- Clarify the intent of Congress that off-the-shelf (OTS) orthotics are confined to those devices that only require “minimal self-adjustment,” and limit the expansive list of devices the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) currently considers OTS.
Secretary McDonald Letter: Led by Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC), this bipartisan letter to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert McDonald, MBA, requests him to implement on his own authority key provisions from the Injured and Amputee Veterans Bill of Rights. This legislation, introduced last year as House of Representatives (H.R.) 3408, establishes that veterans in need of O&P care can select the practitioner of their choice-whether or not the practitioner has a VA contract-and obtain the O&P technology that is appropriate to meet their needs.
New York State’s “One Limb For Life” Restriction: NAAOP has played a major leadership role in working with New York State O&P advocates to eliminate the one prosthesis per limb per lifetime restriction in private insurance coverage under the essential health benefits (EHB) package under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This is one of the most restrictive O&P coverage policies in the country, and we believe it violates several provisions in the ACA including the nondiscrimination requirements based on age and disability status.
Our efforts are bearing fruit. The chairmen of the health and insurance committees in the New York Senate and in the New York Assembly have drafted letters to the Health Marketplace (the exchange) requesting a rescission of this restriction in 2016. (See these letters on the NAAOP website.)
Go to www.onelimbforlife.com to sign an online petition in support of this issue, and join 14,000 O&P supporters in making your voice heard! Thank you.
The webcast is posted on the NAAOP website and on www.oandp.com, shared with members via e-mail, and made available through the NAAOP page on Facebook. For more information, visit www.naaop.org or e-mail [email protected].