Washington DC – Representatives Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and Shelley Berkley (D-NV) have introduced HR 1958, the Medicare Orthotics and Prosthetics Improvement Act of 2011. The Medicare Orthotics and Prosthetics Improvement Act seeks to improve patient care and reduce fraud in Medicare by requiring CMS to enforce an existing policy, created in BIPA in 2000, that Medicare apply accreditation and licensure standards for O&P providers. The legislation would also create a revised payment system for O&P services that links practitioner qualifications with the type of care and level of complexity of the device being provided to the patient. An independent study commissioned by AOPA found that the Medicare Orthotics and Prosthetics Improvement Act would save an estimated $250 million over 5 years by eliminating fraud and abuse.
“Fraud and abuse contributes not only to rising costs, but it also harms patients, particularly when medically necessary devices are provided without expert care or without necessity, we need to collectively look to create savings by combating waste, fraud, and abuse. This legislation will enhance patient care and ensure that Medicare fraud is addressed, particularly when the fiscal solvency of the program is in question.” –Congressman Glenn Thompson (Gant Daily, 5/24/11)
Recently passed legislation exempted nearly all providers and suppliers from accreditation standards until the Secretary of HHS determines which standards apply. This leaves patients vulnerable to substandard care and a Medicare system subject to fraud and abuse. H.R. 1958 will ensure qualified orthotics and prosthetics professionals provide better, more efficient patient care and reduce unnecessary spending by both Medicare and seniors.
OPGA President Dennis Clark voiced his support for HR 1958 today by saying, “This important piece of legislation is a high priority of the orthotics and prosthetics industry. Ensuring properly credentialed, qualified practitioners will create better patient outcomes and strengthen us as a profession.”
OPGA Government Relations urges our members to contact their Congressperson and ask them to support HR 1958, the Medicare Orthotics and Prosthetics Improvement Act. Please Contact OPGA for help contacting your federal representatives, or click the link below.