The Amputee Coalition is monitoring a proposal that was put forth in the President’s budget that calls for all Orthotics and Prosthetics to be included in the competitive bidding program under HHS. The proposal is expected to save $38 billion over ten years. Under current law, competitive bidding for anything more than off-the-shelf orthotics is currently illegal, so Congress would have to pass a law authorizing CMS to expand it to all O&P products.
This proposal is bad news for the O&P industry but it is important to realize that while the proposal is in the President’s budget, it is considered highly unlikely that this budget will move forward once it gets to Congress.
This is the last year of the current President’s budget. The budget contains a number of policy proposals that the President or administration staff wish to float to gather reaction from members of Congress. This calendar year, there is no chance this proposal will become law absent gigantic developments in Congress, which are not expected especially given the looming election. The overall budget was labeled “Dead on Arrival” before it was even introduced. Republicans in Congress, who head both chambers, have shown no interest in the President’s overall budget, let alone this specific proposal.
The Amputee Coalition will continue to monitor this proposal and will be speaking with members of Congress and CMS to voice our concerns and ensure these devices don't get lumped into the competitive bidding program. Keep checking for updates that we will post to our Web site and on Facebook to keep consumers apprised of the situation.