What a year 2015 was for Cascade! We experienced growth in all areas of our business, most notably with the expansion of our team, the additions to the product lines we carry, and the inclusion of OrtoPed to the Cascade family. As we look to the New Year, we face an ever-changing industry landscape with the goal of partnering more than ever with our customers during this climate of change.
While 2015 was riddled with the introduction and suspension of the misguided draft LCD, we face a different set of challenges in the near future. New rules on Prior Authorization, a RAC contractor charged with the authority to kickstart audits, and a looming draft LCD under review by a newly established governmental interagency task force will act as barriers to providing the care your patients deserve. Along with these issues, preparations must be made for the consolidation of contractors who oversee the various audit regions that regulate our profession. At the federal level, this is only a small portion of the industry challenges we will face.
To those in attendance at the AOPA Leadership Conference on January 10, I noted in my presentation, How State Associations Can be Effective at Both State and Federal Level, that approximately one half of the US population is covered by insurance policies that are governed by state legislation and regulation. The trend of insured individuals moving under policies governed by the states will continue as more of the uninsured population comes into the system through the ACA and related Medicaid plans. As we move into 2016, it seems we all must now divert more of our attention from patient care and operating our businesses to attending rallies, engaging our patients to become more involved in protecting their access to clinically relevant products and services, and advocating for ourselves at the state and federal levels. Change is definitely upon us.
Outside of monitoring industry changes, Cascade has focused efforts on improving and expanding our products and services. We were able to expand our product offerings this past year by partnering with suppliers like Ability Dynamics, College Park, and by adding Trulife Breastcare. In 2016, we welcome new opportunities from Steeper USA, Regal, North Sea Plastic, Click Medical, and additional offerings from Medi. From a customer perspective, we were honored to receive a national contract from Shriners Hospital in early 2015 and we are dedicated to continually increase our partnerships with independent facilities across the United States.
To further expand our footprint in the O&P industry, we announced the acquisition of OrtoPed in Canada. This investment will allow us to serve the Canadian market more broadly and provide enhanced services and product offerings north of the border. Cascade has a long, proud history of serving the O&P community in Canada (one of Cascade’s original founders was based in Coquitlam, BC) and we are excited for the opportunities and relationships this acquisition will bring.
This year will bring a new host of opportunities and challenges and we stand ready to extend our support and service to the industry and our valued customers. Thank you for your continued commitment to Cascade.