AOPA thanks the more than 200 advocates who tuned in for yesterday’s 2020 Virtual Policy Forum. While we couldn’t be together in Washington, it was great to have so many dedicated advocates join us to learn more about the legislative process, get key insights on issues affecting the profession, and hear Sen. Tammy Duckworth discuss the work she’s doing in Congress on behalf of our profession. And we’re grateful for the advocates who took the time to write their members of Congress and urged them to include language in the next COVID bill which would distinguish orthotists and prosthetists from suppliers of Durable Medical Equipment (DME), a key first step in paving the way for advancements in our industry.
We encourage those of you who were unable to attend yesterday to view the recording of the event, and, more importantly, to write your legislators. Despite the critical care and professional expertise O&P provides, there remains a widespread perception that O&P is simply a subset of DME. This perception continues to negatively impact the profession and more importantly, patients. This pandemic has made the need for Congress to statutorily distinguish O&P from DME even clearer given the essential care O&P practitioners are providing. In addition, separation would open avenues for O&P practitioners to further utilize telehealth. Being tied to DME means our practitioners bill for items, not for services; while our practitioners are expanding their use of telehealth exponentially during COVID, they are unable to bill for these services. Separation is a critical first step in affirming recognition of all O&P services. Please write your members of Congress today and urge them to include this language in the next COVID bill.
Again, thank you to all who attended yesterday, we look forward to seeing you in person in Washington next year!
If you have any questions contact Justin Beland, AOPA’s Director of Government Affairs at jbeland@AOPAnet.org.