Thursday, May 19, 2022

Re: Action Alert: Attention Missouri O&P Professionals

Jim Weber

Dear Fellow Missouri and all O&P Professionals,

As a follow up to this AOPA Action Alert from Walt Gorski at AOPA I would
like to request that each and every one of us in Missouri and across the
country to take action immediately to prevent Missouri from eliminating
coverage for prosthetics and orthotics in the state Medicaid program. With
the nationwide pressure to reduce Medicaid costs impact on state budgets
Missouri will not be the only state facing this issue.

Go to the Missouri House of Representatives website at
http://www.house.mo.gov and find your local representative and contact them
by phone, e-mail or mail today to urge their support in maintaining coverage
in Medicaid stressing the talking points outlined in AOPA’s message below.

My partner Jon Wilson, C.P.O. and I testified with one of our Medicaid
patients in front of the Appropriations committee for Health, Mental Health
and Social Services in Jefferson City on Monday February 7th to protest the
elimination of prosthetics and orthotics from Medicaid coverage. The
committee members were very interested in our testimony, asking several
questions afterward. One Representative on the committee asked our patient
who her Representative was and encouraged her to contact him and urge his
support. The Representative said “Tell him if he doesn’t support you now,
you can vote him out in two years!” After the hearing we visited our
individual Representatives offices, the President Pro Tem of the Senate,
Michael Gibbons, and the Governor’s office to express our concern with this
issue.

O & P is included in the Department of Social Services Budget under the line
item “Rehabilitation and Specialty Services”. WE MUST TAKE THE
RESPONSIBILITY TO RAISE THE AWARENESS OF THIS ISSUE TODAY. O & P is not
specifically identified in a lot of the budget material readily available
and State Representatives and Senators must be contacted by O & P providers
and especially patients who are their constituents to make them aware of the
devastating effect this budget cut could have on thousands of lives in
Missouri.

We got their attention on Monday and the committee members encouraged us to
contact our local reps and request this budget cut be stopped.

So please do not wait to encourage your patients and associates to act now
and contact their Representative and Senator.

Thank you,

Jim Weber
President & CEO
P & O Care
St. Louis

—–Original Message—–
From: Orthotics and Prosthetics List [mailto:[email protected]] On
Behalf Of AOPA
Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2005 3:49 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: [OANDP-L] Action Alert: Attention Missouri O&P Professionals

AOPA STATE LEGISLATIVE ACTION ALERT
February 3, 2005

URGE MISSOURI STATE LAWMAKERS TO MAINTAIN O&P COVERAGE UNDER THE
MISSOURI MEDICAID PROGRAM

Gov. Matt Blunt has proposed the elimination of Medicaid O&P coverage
and payment for patients over 18. This proposal is included in the 2006
state fiscal year budget. The O&P profession and their patients need to
contact their state lawmakers and urge them to maintain coverage for
orthotic and prosthetic services. We have learned that no opposition has
been raised about the impact this proposal will have on patients.

Currently the Missouri House Appropriations Subcommittee will hold
another hearing on the proposed budget Monday Feb. 7 at 10 a.m. An O&P
Practitioner will testify against this proposal at the hearing.

AOPA strongly opposes the elimination of O&P coverage under the Missouri
Medicaid program and because of the magnitude of the issues at stake, we
ask that all Missouri O&P professionals and their patients contact the
following state lawmakers immediately, and use the talking points below.

The following is a list of the House Appropriations Subcommittee members
who need to be contacted ASAP:

Jodi Stefanick, Chair-(573) 751-4392
Otto Bean, Vice Chair-(573) 751-8591
Sharon Brooks-(573) 751-1309
Robert Cooper-(573) 751-1119
Charles Denison-(573) 751-2210
Margaret Donnelly-(573) 751-0100
Yaphett El-Amin-(573) 751-2198
Ward Franz-(573) 751-1455
Connie Johnson-(573) 751-7605
Beth Low-(573) 751-4485
Sam Page-(573) 751-9762
David Sater-(573) 751-1480
Tom Self-(573) 751-3971
Bryan Stevenson-(573) 751-7082
Mike Sutherland-(573) 751-2689
Raymond Weter-(573) 751-2565

Talking Points

Elimination of O&P coverage will have a devastating impact on patients
in need of O&P services

If orthotic and prosthetic coverage is eliminated from the Medicaid
program, it will have a devastating impact on an individual’s
rehabilitation. Under the proposed state budget, an individual who
experiences a limb amputation, spinal injury, rheumatoid arthritis,
post-polio syndrome, ligament injuries, and many other devastating
conditions will now go without appropriate medical care if the proposed
cuts are implemented.

Moreover, as existing devices age, fitting and functional problems will
result in more extensive and costly medical conditions such as skin
breakdowns, infections, falls, fractures and countless other
complications ultimately requiring expensive care. Thus, rather than
receiving cost-effective care and treatment from an orthotist or
prosthetist, patients will unavoidably be required to seek covered
services in far most costly settings such as hospital emergency rooms or
physicians’ offices.

Provision of O&P care gets patients back into the workforce and reduces
their reliance on other public assistance programs

The proposed elimination of orthotic and prosthetic services also may
exacerbate Missouri’s state expenditures, since affected individuals
will have tremendous difficulty re-entering the workforce and may
require additional state public assistance programs (i.e., extended
hospitalization, home health/visiting nurse services, wheelchair, van
and ambulance transportation, income and housing assistance, etc.) Such
scenarios would mean that an individual’s ability to return to the work
force and earn a taxable income to contribute his or her fair share in
state tax revenues would be severely jeopardized, if not eliminated.

Elimination of Medicaid coverage will have an adverse impact on orthotic
and prosthetic patient care facilities and their employees

Patient care facilities that provide O&P services to Missouri residents
will face increased financial hardships if the state goes through with
its planned cuts. As facility costs continue to increase, the
elimination of Medicaid payments for these services will likely force
some facilities into bankruptcy. Thus, not only will access to O&P
services be harmed but the employees of these facilities will be forced
into unemployment.

If you have questions on these issues or about how to contact your state
lawmakers, please call AOPA’s Walt Gorski or Tim Redmon at (571)
431-0876, ext. 209 or 259.

AOPA thanks you for your efforts on behalf of the O&P field. Your input
makes a difference!
************************************************************
Posted to listserv on 2-3-05 at 4:49 p.m.

American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association T: 571-431-0876
330 John Carlyle Street, Suite 200 F: 571-431-0899
Alexandria, VA 22314 www.AOPAnet.org

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