BOC fulfilled the requirements of what has come to be known as “The Historic Agreement,” on January 1, 2013. Signed in 2008 by the leaders of five of the national organizations representing the clinical, business, and quality improvement aspects of the Orthotic and Prosthetic (O&P) professions, the agreement was the result of discussions to forge a consensus regarding the minimum standards necessary for education and training of providers of custom orthotics and prosthetics.
The complete agreement follows:
Joint Statement of Agreement between BOC and the O&P Alliance Organizations
Five of the national organizations representing the clinical, business, and quality improvement aspects of the orthotic and prosthetic profession recently engaged in detailed discussions to forge a consensus regarding the minimum standards necessary for education and training of providers and suppliers of custom orthotics and prosthetics (i.e., custom orthopedic braces and artificial limbs).
These five organizations include the following:
- American Academy of Orthotics and Prosthetists – (“AAOP”)
- American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics – (“ABC”)
- American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association – (“AOPA”)
- Board for Certification/Accreditation, International – (“BOC”)
- National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics – (“NAAOP”)
For the purposes of clarity and to ensure that all parties involved in these discussions are in complete and total agreement, this joint statement was issues. The parties agree that the absolute minimum education standard for acceptance to sit for the ABC and/or BOC orthotist and/or prosthetist Certification exams is one of the following:
(a) A bachelors degree in orthotics and/or prosthetics as offered by current educational institutions accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (“CAAHEP”); or
(b) A bachelors degree plus a certificate in orthotics and/or prosthetics as offered by current educational institutions accredited by CAAHEP; or
(c) A foreign degree equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in orthotics or prosthetics determined to be equivalent by the World Educational Service (“WES”); or; foreign degree equivalent to a bachelor’s degree determined to be equivalent by the World Educational Services (WES), plus a certificate in orthotics and/or prosthetics as offered by educational institutions accredited by CAAHEP.
In addition, it is agreed that the training requirement for the acceptance to sit for the ABC Certification exams is a residency accredited by the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (“NCOPE”), and the training requirement for the acceptance to sit for the BOC Certification exams is, at minimum, twelve (12) months of structured clinical affiliation (residency) under the direct supervision of a duly certified individual of the same discipline (orthotics or prosthetics).
It is further agreed that the parties will present the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) with a joint written confirmation of this agreement and encourage CMS to adopt minimum education and training requirements into their regulatory framework for Section 427 of the Beneficiary Improvements and Protection Act (BIPA) so that all Medicare providers and suppliers of custom orthotics and prosthetics would be required to meet these same standards.
Regardless of CMS’s response, whether informally or in the form of a proposed or final rule of BIPA Section 427, the parties agree to work together for the purposes of achieving implementation of this agreement as the long-term standard to be adopted by all public programs and private payors of custom orthotic and prosthetic care, including state licensure initiatives.
With respect to Grandfathering, any individual seeking BOC Certification under the requirements existing as of December 3, 2008 would have four (4) years until January 1, 2013 to complete the requirements and apply for the BOC orthotist and/or prosthetist Certification exam(s).
Agreed to and adopted by the following organizations this 18th day of December, 2008.