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Busy June Sets the Stage for Active July

NAAOP heads into an active July with its annual Virtual Congressional Fly-In planned for July 18th and a webinar on new Medicare Advantage rules set for July 27th. Kate Ketelhohn, the NAAOP Breece Fellow for 2023, is hard at work helping to coordinate advocacy efforts this Summer. June was a busy month and a summary of developments follows:

Medicare O&P Patient-Centered Care Act Introduced (H.R. 4315): Reps. Glenn Thompson (R-PA), Mike Thompson (D-CA), Brett Guthrie (R-KY), Angie Craig (D-MN), and Pete Sessions (R-TX) introduced bipartisan legislation on June 23, 2023 that addresses some of the most important issues facing the O&P profession. The bill would (1) exempt certified and licensed orthotists and prosthetists from competitive bidding of off-the-shelf orthoses, (2) ban drop shipping to patient’s homes of custom orthoses and prostheses in order to preserve access to clinical O&P care, and (3) treat orthoses like prostheses for purposes of the useful lifetime requirement, allowing for replacements of orthoses due to a change in the patient’s condition. NAAOP will be promoting this legislation and during our impending Virtual Fly-In.

TO CONTACT YOUR OWN MEMBER OF CONGRESS to get your Representative to join the bill as a cosponsor, please visit NAAOP’s Congressional Action Center.

NAAOP Virtual Fly-In: As in recent years, NAAOP will host a Virtual Congressional Fly-In on July 18, 2023, to promote the Medicare O&P Patient-Centered Care Act. NAAOP Board members, select members, friends, and former Breece fellows will participate in this event to build support for the bill, educate members of Congress and their staff, and seek additional cosponsors of the House legislation. NAAOP will also push for introduction of a Senate bill that is being prepared for introduction in the coming weeks.

New Definition of Orthotics: On June 29th, CMS announced a proposed regulation to codify in regulations the existing definition of “orthotics,” which is currently in guidance documents only. The proposed rule also explicitly recognizes that power applied to an orthosis is covered by the Medicare program. The proposed rule also clarified that the MyoPro™ orthotic technology and the ReWalk™ exoskeleton are considered orthotics, not DME or prosthetic devices. Overall, this is a very favorable regulation even though some of the descriptions the regulation uses to describe orthotics are fairly simplistic. NAAOP will work with its Alliance partners to submit comments within 60 days to refine the definition of orthotics to allow even greater access to care.

Medicare Advantage Webinar Announced: NAAOP will host a complimentary webinar on July 27, 2023 at 1:00 pm Eastern Time on new regulations that O&P practitioners can use to challenge denials of O&P care by Medicare Advantage plans. The webinar will be interactive and provide specific tools that practitioners and patients can use in their efforts to obtain O&P coverage and payment for their Medicare Advantage patients. With half of all Medicare beneficiaries being served under the Medicare Advantage program, this webinar should be of great value to anyone serving this patient population.

To register for the NAAOP Webinar on Medicare Advantage, please register at this link

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