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NAAOP Welcomes Second Breece Fellow for Summer Advocacy

Virtual Congressional Advocacy Day:  In late July, the two Breece Fellows this summer will take a lead role in organizing the NAAOP virtual Congressional “Fly-In” to encourage Congress to pass the Medicare O&P Patient-Centered Care Act (H.R. 1990 and S. 2556) and to educate policy makers on impending policy issues involving osseointegration.

The Medicare O&P Patient-Centered Care Act would accomplish key priorities for the orthotic and prosthetic profession which would help distinguish O&P clinical care from durable medical equipment (DME):

  1. Limits the definition of “off-the-shelf” (or “OTS”) orthotics to devices that truly require only “minimal self-adjustment” by the beneficiary only

  2. Bans drop-shipping to patients of custom fit and custom fabricated orthoses and prostheses to ensure access to clinical care, and

  3. Exempts licensed and certified O&P practitioners from OTS competitive bidding, treating them similarly to physicians and therapists by allowing them to provide OTS orthoses to their patients without a contract at the competitive bidding rate.

Breece Fellowship:  After a 2-year delay due to the pandemic, NAAOP is excited to be working with two fellows this summer, the most recent of which is Lucas DeLuca.  Lucas is an individual with above-knee limb loss from birth and began his fellowship in Washington, DC, on July 11th.  Lucas will be doing an abbreviated four weeks in DC with his counterpart, Breece Fellow, Nikki Grace-Strader.  Both fellows will spend time shadowing Peter Thomas, NAAOP General Counsel and O&P Alliance Counsel, learning about advocacy and policy issues impacting orthotics and prosthetics, as well as the broader rehabilitation and disability fields.  Throughout the summer, fellows will have opportunities to meet with elected leaders and Hill Staff to promote NAAOP’s priorities including the Medicare O&P Patient-Centered Care Act (H.R. 1990 and S. 2556) and educating policy makers on the issue of osseointegrated prostheses.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility (DEIA):  As a congenital above-knee amputee, Lucas has been living with a prosthetic limb since he was two years old. Growing up with limb loss and frequenting several different hospitals and prosthetists, Lucas learned the importance of patient-centered care from a young age. Throughout his experiences in sports, education, and theater, he focused on ways to minimize or remove barriers to access while bolstering inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of life. Today, Lucas works as the Director of a Disability Services office in Washington State providing accommodations to students with a range of different disabilities. As part of the fellowship, Lucas will help lead the NAAOP’s efforts on DEIA practices and will work to create more resources dedicated to enhancing prosthetist and patient experiences.

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