Saturday, November 26, 2022

Re: Latest legislative update from NAAOP

Jim DeWees

Dear Listserv Members,

I have watched this video, as well as all the previous videos from NAAOP.

I am very concerned about the future of this profession for a couple reasons. First off, being an amputee, I am concerned about the future availability of prosthetic components and research for the future. Also, as a certified prosthetist, I am concerned about my ability to continue to provide services to my patients and allow them to enjoy life and provide for themselves.

This video addressed a few of these concerns, and I hope to get some answers from this group, and also encourage others on here to get involved and get some answers for yourselves and also to take action and be politically active in your areas, raise public awareness of what is going on with prosthetics, and what the future could bring if we if nothing is done to protect the welfare of amputees.

My first concern or question is related to the Healthcare Reform (Obamacare), and the fact that O&P is NOT specifically mentioned in the bill. This field WAS mentioned in the House Bill (the congressional bill that was scrapped and failed to pass through the Senate). Then the Max Baucus Bill was presented to the Senate and was passed, and then passed through Congress and was signed into law. This bill does NOT mention O&P, and only mentions some very broad, ambiguous term about rehabilitative services. In this video, again they state that they “hope” or “think” that O&P should be included as part of this “rehabilitative” portion, but it is NOT written into law, and it is NOT in writing….we are only trusting the politicians on their word only, or trusting in NAAOP that their “hope” or “understanding” is good enough to base the entire future of this field or profession.

Even if this national Prosthetic Parity bill were to pass through the political works and become law, it would really mean nothing IF the Obamacare goes into effect and it is determined that even though everyone has “access” to prosthetics, the law clearly states that they are not “covered” devices under the new law. This means that CMS (Meciare and Medicaid) would not have to pay for these devices, and these are the same rules that the private insurance companies are also going to have to provide. It is one thing to state that every amputee should have access to prosthetics, BUT if the national law states that they are not mandated to be covered, then they are not covered.

OK, the next issue is with this HR1958. I think you should ALL go and read at least the first few lines of this bill. It sounds good in a way, BUT the parts that are really troubling for me are how WE in the O&P field are going to be REQUIRED to become accredited facilities, while doctors, therapists and others who provide O&P services are NOT required to have any accreditation. Why is that? I really, honestly, am wondering what the reasoning is behind this.

As I have asked many times before, how does accreditation work to fight against fraud and abuse? It is not a facility that commits fraud, it is a human being that can commit the fraud. And, so accreditation of a facility has nothing at all to do with fraud as far as I can tell.

In order to get a Medicare provider ID number, they check first to make sure that the applicant has a valid credential or license in the field. When I applied for my number, I had to send copies of my credentials, my CP number, the cover sheet of my insurance policy, and many other things. Then they actually sent someone to my office to inspect my office and make sure that I had my hours of operation posted on the front door, etc.

What more would having some facility accreditation offer? Honestly, I would like to know this answer.

But, if WE are required to have this in place, then why do therapists not have to have any kind of accreditation? What about physicians? Does this bill being pushed by NAAOP just really not recognize this field as being honest enough? Or do our credentials not really mean anything to them?

There is more at the bottom of the HR1958 about fee schedules and how these will change, or be adjusted. And again, we are separated or singled out from Physicians, therapists and others when it comes to fee schedules for some reason.

It REALLY appears that the therapists and physicians are much more protected and have a better “deal” with this bill. And, why would anyone in the O&P profession support or back this kind of legislation that apparently really doesn’t trust us, or gives preferencial treatment to these other entities?

Please, everyone, look at this bill. Ask questions about this to our leaders and see if you can get any answers that satisfy your concerns.

A couple weeks ago, another person on this list made similar comments. I KNOW that more of us have concerns about this, and are also frustrated. But, not many of us will raise our questions, or will comment on their concerns. Please, share with me (privately or in public) what you have learned.

If I am wrong about this, also please contact me and clear these questions up for me.

We should ALL be concerned about this Healthcare Reform. Even though NAAOP seems to strongly support this Obamacare deal, I have not seen this kind of support from other prosthetists that I have spoken with. I can’t help but feel that there is some political issue with some of our “leaders” which influence their support of such plans or bills. I have looked into many of our leaders and their political affiliations, photos of them with political leaders, etc. It might be worth your time to also see who some of these leaders are connected with, and make up your own minds about these issues. Everyone is entitled to their own political views…it is America, and we have that right to associate with whatever party we want to, or be connected to political leaders. We all have that right. But, the other side is that when we are connected with a party or a political side, that also tends to influence how we view things, or maybe force us to support or push a bill that might be more about a party or some politician. It might not be good for everyone, or could even actually damage the public in general, BUT that sometimes isn’t the number one concern of some political issues these days.

Again, take a look at the HR1958, and also the senate bill 773. I think you will all be SHOCKED!!!!

Thanks,

Jim DeWees, CP

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