CMS rescinds proposed orthotics rule

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Friday, October 13, 2017

WASHINGTON – CMS has announced it is withdrawing a proposed rule that would have required any practitioner or supplier who provides custom orthotics to be licensed in states where it is required.

The rule, released in January, was strongly opposed by physicians, physical therapists and occupational therapists. The rule has actually been a law since 2000, but it has never been fully implemented.

CMS said it was withdrawing the rule due to “the cost and time burdens that the proposed rule would create for many providers and suppliers, particularly the cost and burden for those providers and suppliers that are small businesses.”

The Trump administration has pledged to reduce regulatory burdens on businesses.

Industry associations like the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association and the National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics, however, supported the rule.

“AOPA is disappointed that CMS decided to withdraw the proposed rule that would finally create regulations to implement a law that was passed more than 17 years ago,” the association said in a press release. “The withdrawal of the proposed rule once again exposes the Medicare population to no regulation regarding what qualifications are required to provide custom orthotic and prosthetic services.”

In May, Sen. Chuck Grassley R-Iowa, and Reps. Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Pa., and Mike Thompson, D-Calif., introduced The Medicare Orthotics and Prosthetics Improvement Act of 2017 in both the Senate and House that calls on CMS to enforce a law that O&P providers be certified to receive payments under Medicare. Similar bills have been introduced in previous sessions of Congress.