For Love…and for Money

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By Karen Henry

I've talked with a lot of O&P practitioners over the last couple of years, and one thing that I hear frequently is that people don't enter the O&P profession for the money. Many, if not most, enter the profession to make a positive impact on people's lives. This month's issue is dedicated to those who have devoted their lives to "Humanitarian Journeys," and are helping people who otherwise could not afford prosthetic and orthotic care or who do not have access to the care and devices they need to resume productive lifestyles.

There's little doubt that the majority of O&P practitioners have a genuine passion for and dedication to helping people. And while the promise of vast riches is clearly not the primary motivation behind an individual's decision to enter the profession, there's still a lot to be said for paying the bills on time and in full every month.

In part two of our "O&P Survival Guide," Judith Philipps Otto explores whether or not the current economic crisis is likely to affect patient outcomes. O&P experts agree that the standard of care will not be compromised, but how about your bottom line? As an O&P practitioner and/or business owner, have you seen a downward trend in your accounts receivables (A/R)? If so, to what do you attribute that trend? Is it the economy, or are other factors in play? Are you planning to reduce costs to try to mitigate the effects of reduced A/R, or have you already implemented cost-saving measures? What are you doing (or planning to do)?

We're always interested in hearing your stories, ideas, and suggestions. Send an e-mail to , and be sure to answer this month's online reader's poll at