Senators introduce O&P companion bill

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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

WASHINGTON – A bill that seeks to differentiate orthotics and prosthetics from durable medical equipment was recently introduced in the Senate.

The Medicare Orthotics and Prosthetics Patient-Centered Care Act (S. 4503), sponsored by Sens. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., Steve Daines, R-Mont., Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Bill Cassidy, R-La., is a companion bill to H.R. 5262, introduced in November by Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif..

The bill has four key provisions:

  • Create separate statutory requirements for the provision of orthoses and prostheses to reflect the distinction between the clinical, service-oriented nature of orthotics and prosthetics care and the commodity-based nature of durable medical equipment;
  • Restore Congress’ intended meaning of the term “minimal self-adjustment,” to more clearly define off-the-shelf orthoses;
  • Prohibit the practice of “drop shipping” custom orthoses and prostheses to Medicare beneficiaries, and prohibit drop shipment of off-the-shelf orthoses; and
  • Ensure that patients have access to the full range of orthotic care from one O&P practitioner rather than requiring patients to visit multiple providers in the case where the treating practitioner does not have a competitive bidding contract.


“The provision of orthotics and prosthetics care requires clinical services provided by highly trained practitioners. Currently, it is unfairly regulated through a DME lens instead of the clinical care lens,” said Jeff Lutz, CPO, president of the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association. “By differentiating the clinical care in which orthoses and limb prostheses are provided from the provision of durable medical equipment, this important legislation will ensure patients get the safe, quality care they deserve.”