In the wake of the O&P Policy Forum in Washington, DC, organized by AOPA, we ask all NAAOP members and friends to write to their Congressman and/or Senators to seek cosponsors for two important pieces of O&P legislation. Both bills have been introduced in previous Congresses but remain priorities for the O&P profession. We need to build cosponsors of these bills to get them moving through Congress. Here’s how you can help.
- Go to the NAAOP website at naaop.org and click on the Congressional Action Center. This will take you to two template letters, one for each bill.
- Follow directions within the site to send electronic versions of a letter to your Congressman on the first bill below and your two Senators and Representative on the second bill below. Modify the template letters to your liking and send them electronically to Capitol Hill asking them to cosponsor these bills.
- If you are able, please call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121 and ask them for your Congressman’s or Senator’s office. Ask to speak with the health legislative assistant and leave a message that you just sent them an email on important legislation and hope they will consider cosponsoring the bill(s).
- Injured and Amputee Veterans Bill of Rights (H.R. 2322): This legislation is spearheaded by NAAOP and was recently introduced by Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI). The VA Bill of Rights seeks to educate veterans of their rights to help them to become their own best advocate on their VA prosthetic care. This bill requires the VA to post a list of rights in every O&P clinic across the country as well as the VA website and include the right to obtain appropriate prosthetic technology, access the practitioner of the veterans’ choice, and to obtain a second opinion if the veteran disagrees with the VA prescribed treatment plan. All of these rights are consistent with the VHA Handbook and Congressional testimony presented by VA officials in recent years and should not cost the VA more than they currently spend on O&P services.
- Medicare O&P Improvement Act (S. 1191 and H.R. 2599): The Medicare O&P Improvement Act includes important legislative proposals that would:
- Recognize that the prosthetist’s/orthotist’s notes are considered part of the medical record
- Separates DME from O&P in federal regulations
- Directs CMS to fully implement Medicare law requiring O&P qualifications in order to be reimbursed by the program for custom O&P care
- Clarifies “off-the-shelf” orthotics to restore Congressional intent, and
- Mandates that HHS refine its data on O&P audits and appeals to better track reversal rates and other important information throughout the appeals process.
Thank you for your efforts for the O&P profession and the patients we serve!