We're championing orthotics and prosthetics for the next 100 years.
Rome wasn’t built in a day which is a reminder that achieving great results requires passion, perseverance and patience. AOPA has a long history of advocacy efforts to resolve basic issues that have hindered the O&P community’s efforts to achieve the best outcomes for patients and a favorable business environment for our members.
Here are some of the ongoing or newly developed initiatives and projects designed to infuse the future with solutions to some of O&P’s most vexing problems.
The Medicare O&P Improvement Act would:
Former Senator Bob Kerrey who pushed and pushed until the very end also pledged his continued support for early action in the 115th Congress. Most of the by now well-educated lawmakers and staff members who almost brought it across the finish line this session will be similarly committed to an early passage effort in 2017. His comment on learning of the disappointing result was "we are in very good shape to get this done in 2017...Let's keep pushing!!!"
Prosthetics 2020: Recognizing CMS’ commitment to moving in the direction of value-based purchasing, AOPA has introduced Prosthetics 2020 as a forward-looking commitment to meet the challenges inherent in proactive change.
Prosthetics 2020 created in 2015 quickly identified objectives to include:
Prosthetics 2020 currently has seven sponsors funding the project including Endolite, Freedom Innovations, Hanger, Ossur, Ottobock, Scheck and Siress, and WillowWood.
Dobson DaVanzo Landmark Cost Effectiveness Study The initial study commissioned by the Amputee Coalition and funded by AOPA in 2011 retained Dobson DaVanzo, a noted health care consulting firm, to conduct a socio-economic/cost-effective ness of care study to quantify the value of orthotic and prosthetic services. The initial study included Medicare claims data for 2007-2010. The project has expanded with the inclusion of Part D data to track the impact of timely O&P intervention on drug costs and adding Medicare claims data from 2011 through 2014.
RAND Corporation Value Simulation RAND will estimate the economic impact of advanced prostheses including dynamic response (energy storing and release) foot, microprocessor controlled ankle foot system, and powered ankle foot system. RAND will examine the economic impact along several dimensions including osteoarthritis, falls and obesity. Other impacts of advanced prosthetics will be explored based on the published literature or expert consultations. The results will be incorporated into the final report that covers both advanced transfemoral and transtibial prosthetics. Recognizing that CMS has stated its commitment to a shift to ‘value-based purchasing', AOPA believes that this report may well be landmark, first and foremost in using modeling and simulation to help define the economic value proposition for prosthetic care prospectively and in the broadest terms (going beyond the dramatic conclusions previously established via the retrospective, Medicare dollars expended view of the Dobson-DaVanzo work, to also embrace implications as to long-term tax, employment, and reduction or elimination of patient reliance on social/safety net programs), and potentially even pointing toward possible new reimbursement approaches, pilot and demonstration-type projects that could be pursued for O&P through the CMS Innovation Office.
Pilot Grant Program Expanded in 2016 Since 2009 AOPA in collaboration with the Center for O&P Learning and Evidence-Based Practice (COPL) has awarded three or four smaller pilot grants annually that are intended to be the launching pad for more sophisticated research projects in O&P. The grants are capped at $15,000 each. In 2016 the quality of responses to the Request for Proposal were so compelling COPL recommended funding a total of seven grants for which AOPA increased the budget accordingly.
National Patient Registry AOPA’s Board of Directors authorized a collaboration with the American Joint Replacement Registry to explore development of a National Patient Registry to track the outcomes of patients receiving O&P care. Funding was authorized by the AOPA Board to create the initial effort which has led to submission of a proposal for longer term funding under funds authorized in the Department of Defense budget for the last three budget years. These funds were included in the DoD budget as a direct result of AOPA’s consultant working with Senator Durbin’s (D-IL) staff to authorize $10 million for O&P research in each of the three years.
Mobility Saves Lives and Money The Mobility Saves Website has been continually updated to be the “go-to place” for all pertinent information on the value of timely O&P intervention based on AOPA’s investment in research and the results of the deep dives of Dobson DaVanzo and RAND Corporation into Medicare claims data and simulation modeling capturing the broader economic impact of care that includes costs related to re-employment, prescription drug costs, falls and other factors and co-morbidities.
2017 will further document the cost effectiveness as additional research findings add more and more value-based data in outcomes research.