Mr.David Schultz,Walter Gorski and AOPA members,
Mr.Michael Allen and NAAOP members,
Mr. Gary Lamb and AAOP Members,
Congratulations on your organization’s continued efforts and commitment = to oppose the Medicare/Medicaid competitive bidding proposal for=20 comprehensive O&P services.
Perhaps you could use some help on behalf of the consumer population.
This initiative threatens the welfare, health and safety of consumers receiving quality comprehensive O&P health care services yet THE = national consumer education organization, ACA (advocacy has APPARENTLY been=20 dropped from their mission ) allededly representing people with limb = loss has chosen to sit on the sidelines ALTHOUGH promises to “monitor” the effects and provisions that the = Negotiated Rule Making intitaive=20 and Competitive bidding proposal will have on amputees.
As one of the recently described ” vocal minorities ” we are also=20 members of ACA.The Barr Foundation questions the ACA’s stated “tactical = approach” of not effectively addressing and actively participating in:
1) The negotiated rule making process
2) Opposition to Competitive bidding proposal for comprehensive = prosthetic services.
A recent e-mail post from THE ACA president suggested that =20 “ACA recognizes that we fully support ensuring consumers of prosthetic = care are afforded the highest levels of protection available” . Why therefore can not ACA provide the consumer influence of their=20 organization and their unrestricted revenue to join and align themselves = with AOPA, NAAOP.and AAOP efforts to influence legislators and the CMS ??
Since apparently some AOPA members and directors happen to be board directors members of ACA (?), perhaps AOPA maybe also able to = successfully recruit and align the national consumer organization of the Amputee Coalition = of America (ACA) to also “formally” and lobby against the federal = initiative.
The Barr Foundation, a ACA Life Member, is well aware that ACA has = access to “unrestricted use” ofsubstantial funds (approx $800,000 annually) of = well over $2 million of revenue to effectively advocate on behalf of their membership and for amputees nationwide. =20 These funds are available for lobbying activities while maintaining = compliance to non profit guidelines and their other sources fo funding = from CDC.
It is my understanding they have also recently
formed a PAC.
Since AOPA members are the main source of advertising revenue for ACA = and the “unrestricted use” of funding held by them, perhaps leaders of both = trade associations and the professional association should pass the = suggestion of obtaining an “united front” to adequately address these initiatives , = to Paul Ising ACA chairman and Paddy Rossbach ACA president and to belly up = on the consumers behalf! Consumer participation is urgently needed.
NAAOP and AOPA should consider reaching out to ACA and other national consumer and disability organizations that utilize O&P services, i.e. = the National Multiple Scoliosis Association, Polio, Spina Bifida Association = of America, etc.
To date no national consumer organization is presently being represented = on the Negotiated Rules Making Committee nor has any except, the Barr = Foundation formally opposed , by resolution, the competitive bidding initiative. = Why?
Why aren’t the disabled and consumers users of these specialized = services being represented on their behalf by the national associations they belong too ?
It is not enough for ACA to state that their involvement by merely=20 monitoring the issues on behalf of prosthetic consumers. It is not enough for ACA to ignore their responsibility to oppose the Medicare competitive bidding proposals because present proposal may = involve non-custom orthotics.
A united front of the O&P national associations, professional AND = consumer organizations would have a more impact if their organizations would = unite their efforts in defeating this and other negatively impact legislative issues that maybe = on the horizon.
Now is the time to jointly propose high qualification standards and = affordable O&P=20 health care services
Anthony T. Barr