May 2016

AOPA continues to fight amputee coverage limitations at policy forum

The Washington, DC-based American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA) on May 2 wrapped up its 2016 Policy Forum with its first-ever O&P Legislation-writing Congress.

Former Nebraska governor and senator Bob Kerrey led the congress, at which attendees authored a bill to address problems that are undercutting quality of care for O&P patients who are Medicare beneficiaries, according an AOPA release.

Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) was the opening keynote speak­er for the Policy Forum, and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) provided insight on the congressional perspective. All three legislators shared their concerns about the proposed LCD (local coverage determination) and other restraints that hinder advanced and timely patient care.

Kerrey also met with eight senators to explain the bill and how to “rectify the problems and injustices unnecessarily burdening Medicare beneficiaries and the O&P professionals committed to providing care for those patients,” AOPA reported. And, on April 27, 135 O&P providers and patients spent the day on Capitol Hill in more than 400 meetings with legislators, seeking their support for the new bill and related proposed legislation.

Less than a week before, on April 21, AOPA reported in a conference call with the media that private insurers are exploiting the proposed LCD to deny coverage to amputees for previously approved medical care and devices.

During the call two amputees told reporters about their experiences with United Healthcare coverage denials. AOPA also produced a February letter from six groups, including the Amputee Coalition, urging Cigna to reverse a late 2015 coverage statement that is being used by the company to deny coverage to amputees.

AOPA offered thanks to its 2016 Policy Forum sponsors: WillowWood, Spinal Technology, Ottobock, Becker Orthopedic, Fillauer, Cascade Orthopedic Supply, Townsend Design, Össur Americas, Anatomical Concepts, PEL, Knit-Rite, KISS Technologies, Freedom Innovations, Allard USA, SPS, TRS, Cailor Fleming Insurance, Tamarack Habilitation Technologies, and Ability Dynamics.

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