As state and local governments begin to implement restrictions to population interaction in response to COVID-19, AOPA members have requested guidance regarding the continued operation of orthotic and prosthetic (O&P) businesses. AOPA has been monitoring developments on this issue closely and offers the following guidance based on the current available information.
As of March 23, 2020, at least 11 states (Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, California, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Connecticut, Oregon, and Pennsylvania) and multiple local municipalities have issued orders that restrict or close “non-essential” businesses until further notice. AOPA has reviewed each of these orders and found very consistent language that clearly considers the continued operation of healthcare facilities as “essential” services that are exempt. This exemption applies to both patients who may continue to receive care from healthcare facilities and employees who may continue to work at these facilities.
AOPA fully expects additional state and local authorities to follow suit and implement these restrictions but expects that O&P facilities will continue to be exempt from these restrictions. If additional restrictions are implemented that affect the continued operation of O&P businesses, AOPA will alert its members as soon as we receive the information.
AOPA urges O&P patient care facilities to carefully consider all factors when making decisions regarding the continuation of operations during COVID-19. While there is a clear exemption that permits O&P facilities to continue to operate during state and locally implemented restrictions, the decision on how to operate and how to interact with the public must be made with the best interest of your communities, your employees and, most of all, your patients. Additionally, AOPA highly recommends continued compliance with the latest guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control.