Issue: Protecting O&P patients from receiving substandard care from non-qualified individuals
The National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics, both individually and in partnership with other O&P organizations, has consistently sought to separate legislative and regulatory treatment of professional O&P care from the provision of durable medical equipment. These efforts have been largely successful through the years, witnessed by more favorable treatment for O&P in the areas of Medicare fee schedule freezes and competitive bidding. Additionally, there are laws written to protect Medicare beneficiaries from receiving substandard care from individuals who are not qualified to provide professional O&P care to Medicare beneficiaries.
Recently, CMS regulators have interpreted these laws as they relate to the establishment of quality standards and accreditation requirements. CMS’s interpretation has resulted in a list of eleven CMS approved accreditation organizations for suppliers of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies. Many of these accreditation organizations have no experience accrediting orthotic and prosthetic patient care facilities or practitioners.
NAAOP’s position is that O&P is a highly clinical and service-oriented discipline. Furthermore the provision of quality O&P care requires unique education and training as embodied in ABC certification/accreditation and state licensure. ABC certified and /or state licensed practitioners are professionals who have made a substantial commitment to the profession of orthotics and prosthetics, as reflected by the completion of the rigorous education requirements of state licensure or the ABC certification process. Reliance on state licensure or ABC accreditation protects O&P patients. It ensures that only practitioners with sufficient education, experience, and appropriate patient care facilities provide complex O&P patient care.
Your patient care experience is valuable. Please provide NAAOP with specific examples of the deleterious effect of care provided by individuals without sufficient education, experience, and care facilities. When providing these examples, please provide as much evidence as possible, giving facts, including timeframes, disclosing only what you know, and do not include information that would identify a particular patient.
O&P is a relatively small profession and in order to compete in the larger healthcare arena we must continue to present a factual and compelling account of the threats facing O&P patients and professional O&P care. Thank you for adding your voice.