On April 27, AOPA met with several key members of the HHS Leadership team to discuss issues important to O&P. In attendance were HHS and CMS officials John Brooks, J.D., Counselor to HHS Secretary on Medicare, Policy Advisor Amanda Street and several AOPA key leaders, including AOPA President Michael Oros, CPO, FAAOP; AOPA Executive Director Tom Fise, JD; AOPA President-Elect James Weber, MBA; Scott Schneider; AOPA lobbyists Michael Park and Stephanie Kennan; and Peter Thomas, JD, counsel to the O&P Alliance. The meeting provided an opportunity for AOPA to brief key health-care administrators on the full range of issues facing orthotics, prosthetics, and pedorthics providers and their patients.
The agenda focused on top concerns as well as activities and solutions that AOPA believes can help achieve better outcomes for patients and deliver economic benefits for Medicare. Foremost among the roughly 10 topics on the agenda were the following:
- Recognizing the prosthetist’s/orthotist’s notes as a legitimate part of the medical record;
- Enacting the Medicare O&P Improvement Act;
- Finalizing long-awaited proposed regulations on qualified providers under Section 427 of the Benefit Improvement and Protection Act; and
- Dropping the July 2015 proposed revisions to the prosthetic lower-extremity Local Coverage of Determination (LCD).
The April meeting served as a productive first step in communicating the positions of AOPA members to the new administration. Future meetings and communications will build on this initial meeting and set the stage for relations over the next four years. Read the agenda and briefing. AOPA will keep members informed of any developments.