With the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) we are in uncertain times, with apprehension about providing current and future O&P care at unprecedented levels. In addition, we know managing the needs of your staff is difficult. AOPA is here to help our members navigate this rapidly evolving situation.
Below are a set of resources and information to guide you in providing care and running your business. Also below are the actions AOPA has taken on behalf of its members to ensure care can still be provided while keeping staff safe.
We will keep you updated via email, on this webpage, and through our social media channels with the latest responses and resources. In the meantime, do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions, comments, or concerns.
AOPA has been aggressively advocating on behalf of our members to ensure that the unique needs of the O&P community – practitioners, suppliers, and patients – are taken into consideration when drafting relief legislation. On March 27 Congress passed the CARES Act to help provide financial relief, read the provisions here (3/27/2020). AOPA advocated for:
- Sent a letter to members of Congress, including congressional leaders, noting that “We serve every patient population, from infants to the elderly, and in many healthcare settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, and of course our own facilities. This care simply cannot stop because of the spread of COVID-19 – we cannot tell an individual living with limb loss and limb difference that their leg is not ‘essential.’ We can’t tell a young man, after suffering a horrendous accident, that he will have to wait to receive his replacement limb because the O&P practice is closed indefinitely. We cannot tell the parents of a child living with cerebral palsy that the custom braces essential to their child’s daily function cannot be delivered.” ”
- Working closely with numerous Senators to ensure that O&P is included in a proposed “small and mid-sized business liquidity facility, jointly run by the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve, to provide companies affected by the virus with federally-guaranteed loans at low rates throughout the crisis. The loans will be delivered through local financial institutions and backed up to $1 trillion in federal financing.” We will work closely with our members to ensure access to these funds and to help them navigate any potential bureaucracy.”
- In addition to the above, we’re working with Senate leadership to ensure that O&P businesses have clear access to the proposed $300 billion in forgivable bridge loans for small businesses.
- Advocating for inclusion of up to $400 billion in relief for hospitals, and ensuring authorizing language would cover contracted employees, such as orthotists and prosthetists.
- Worked with Veteran’s Affairs committee staff on inclusion of language to ensure that veterans who are receiving or are eligible to receive a prosthetic appliance have the choice to receive such care from a community provider under contract with the Department during the pandemic, ensuring continuity of care for our patients.
- In response to COVID-19, the Senate Finance Committee is currently considering a temporary elimination of the 2% sequestration based reduction in Medicare payments from May 1 through the end of 2020. If passed, this would have an immediate positive impact on AOPA member’s revenue, providing a true economic stimulus, a stated goal of the Administration during this challenging time. AOPA is in full support of this provision and will continue to advocate for its inclusion in legislation.
CMS Suspends Most Audit Activities (4/2/2020)
Guidance on Documentation and Telehealth Waivers (3/18/2020)
Guidance on working with VA facilities: With regard to the current COVID-19 crisis, VA facility directors (and their supporting Veteran Integrated Service Network) determine the guidance for their medical center, locally, with regard to outpatient services, scheduling of patients, coordination of care, etc. Vendors and contractors for O&P services should contact the local VA facilities with which they do business to discuss questions or issues related to services they are providing to that facility, or to the Veterans from that facility they are serving. (3/25/2020)
- See how other members are responding, visit the Member to Member resources on the AOPA Co-OP. This page includes responses, guidelines, and resources developed by AOPA members. We encourage all to share responses, guidelines, and resources via the Co-OP or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For state-specific guidance, including state government orders and feedback from local O&P facilities visit your state’s page on the Co-OP.
O&P Alliance Member Responses and Resources:
AOPA Event Updates:
- Medicare 101 originally scheduled for March 30 in Rosemont, IL will be offered virtually April 22 and April 23 from 11am-1:30pm ET. More details to follow.
- Coding and Billing Seminar scheduled for April 27-28 in Charlotte, NC has been rescheduled to July 20-21.
- Policy Forum will be held virtually instead of in person the week of May 4, more details to follow.
- 2020 National Assembly is proceeding as planned, hope to see you in Las Vegas September 9 – 12.