2024 signals the start of the second session of the 118th Congress and the challenges before it are daunting. At the same time, NAAOP welcomes new officers and board members whose terms began January 1st.
Our new leadership includes the following individuals:
Ann Leimkuehler Moss, NAAOP
President Nate Kapa, NAAOP Vice President
Regina Weger, NAAOP Secretary
Adam Miller, NAAOP Treasurer
Two new board members also joined NAAOP, including Scott Schneider of Otto Bock and Nikki Grace-Strader, a former Breece Fellow and leader in osseointegration. Congratulations to our new leadership!
Congress will have its hands full early in the new year as it tries to fund the federal government agencies for the remainder of fiscal year 2024, which ends September 30th . All federal agencies are currently operating under a continuing resolution (“CR”) through either January 19th or February 2nd . If Congress does not act by then, the federal government, or a portion thereof, will shut down, but odds are that Congress will find a way in the end to extend funding until a more permanent spending bill can be passed. These “must-pass” bills present opportunities to add other legislation to them so they can be enacted into law, especially health care bills such as H.R. 4315, the Medicare O&P Patient-Centered Care Act.
The House version of this bill picked up additional cosponsors last Fall as NAAOP and other O&P organizations advocated to advance the legislation. There are now 33 bipartisan House cosponsors of the bill. The Senate bill is awaiting technical assistance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) before our champions, Senators Warner (D-VA) and Daines (R-MT), finally introduce the Senate companion bill. Both bills would exempt certified and licensed O&P practitioners from off-the-shelf (OTS) orthotic competitive bidding, ban drop shipping to patients’ homes of custom orthoses and prostheses (other than OTS orthoses), and align the orthotic useful life regulations with the prosthetic regulations, thereby limiting “same or similar” denials of orthotic care.
NAAOP will continue advocating for this important legislation while focusing on a wide variety of other O&P issues that offer both threats and opportunities. For instance, NAAOP will continue to clarify coding of upper limb prostheses under Medicare, seek to educate private insurers about the value of quality O&P care and good patient outcomes, expand coverage of O&P care in private insurance, especially activity-specific orthoses and prostheses, build the O&P evidence base by supporting the Limb Loss and Preservation Registry, and support research efforts to demonstrate O&P outcomes. We look forward to another busy year of advocacy on behalf of O&P patients and the providers who serve them. Thank you for your continuing support of NAAOP!