The National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics (NAAOP) has released a webcast that provides an update on the Draft Local Coverage Determination (LCD) for Lower Limb Prostheses, as well as a discussion of how the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can better accommodate individuals with amputations and people who use prosthetic limbs and orthoses.
NAAOP General Counsel Peter Thomas, JD, said that the White House has until mid-October to respond to the We the People petition calling for the president to rescind the Draft LCD since more than 100,000 signatures were received; NAAOP and the other Orthotic & Prosthetic Alliance member organizations have been working to educate the White House staff on the issue. Further, the O&P Alliance has also held follow-up meetings with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and has talked with a number of people across the federal government regarding this issue. “We are trying to figure out what they are now doing with all those comments and asked for a copy,” Thomas said.
Additionally, the O&P Alliance has written to United Healthcare to challenge its decision to adopt the non-coverage decision for vacuum sockets and that technology, which was embedded in the Draft LCD, despite what Thomas called significant evidence that the technology is a real benefit to individuals with amputations. “That’s why we want the LCD rescinded,” Thomas said. “The longer it stays out there, with the lack of evidence that supports the LCD, the longer a lot of these inconsistent and inappropriate coverage policies may be adopted by third-party payers.”
VA Prosthetic Care
NAAOP has been trying to work directly with VA Secretary Robert McDonald, through Congresswoman Renee Ellmers’ (R-NC) office, regarding the Injured and Amputee Veterans Bill of Rights. Earlier this year, a letter was drafted and signed by more than 20 members of Congress asking McDonald to implement many aspects of the bill on his own authority. He responded to Ellmers with a comprehensive letter that NAAOP said it is examining. “We’ll make some decisions in the near future as to how we proceed with that legislative effort and regulatory effort as well,” Thomas said.
The webcast is posted on oandp.com, shared with members via e-mail, and made available through the NAAOP page on Facebook.