Happy New Year to all of NAAOP’s members and friends! As we begin the second session of the 116th Congress, a very busy agenda is expected in the coming months.
NAAOP Fellowship Applications Due January 31st The third year of NAAOP’s Health Policy and Advocacy Fellowship is about to0 begin. Fellowship applications are due January 31, 2020. Two fellows who use custom orthotics or prosthetics will be selected to spend 10 weeks in Washington, DC this summer learning about O&P policy and advocacy in the broader context of health care and disability policy. We encourage all NAAOP members and friends to think of someone who might be interested and a good candidate and expose them to this opportunity. For more information and the application, please go to www.naaop.org.
O&P Leadership Conference AOPA is hosting its annual O&P leadership conference for the weekend of January 10th. The Leadership Conference is a great way to kick off the year and activate the O&P community. With pending legislation in Congress, this will be a great opportunity to learn more about the Medicare Orthotics and Prosthetics Patient-Centered Care Act and how you can help pass the bill.
Medicare O&P Patient-Centered Care Act Congress is working on lowering the cost of prescription drugs and reducing the impact of surprise medical bills. In addition, Congress extended certain Medicare payment provisions until May 22nd when these programs will expire unless they are reauthorized. This means that a Medicare bill is likely to be passed by this date, or at some point shortly thereafter. The O&P community has an opportunity to work hard to try to attach the O&P Patient-Centered Care Act to this legislation. If this is not possible, we also have an opportunity to perhaps have it included in a second version of the 21st Century Cures Act, informally known as “Cures 2.0.” This bill offers the O&P community another chance of getting the Patient-Centered Care Act included in a moving legislative vehicle, but only if we all come together and build strong support for passage of the legislation.
Veteran Choice of Practitioner NAAOP, AOPA and the O&P Alliance worked together over the past several months to clarify that veterans continue to have a choice of their practitioner, whether that practitioner is a VA employee or is a sanctioned VA provider with a contract with the VA to provide O&P services to veterans. The Omnibus Spending bill for FY 2020 included some language on this issue but the direction to the VA was not as strong as it could have been. NAAOP will continue to work on this important issue in concert with AOPA and other Alliance organizations.