Returning to Fall’s Schedule With New Ideas

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By Andrea Spridgen
Andrea Spridgen

We are in the last dog days of summer and the thermometer reads 90 degrees. Meanwhile, children across the country are preparing for a return to school and the routine it brings. While most of us do not get that months-long break and aren't facing a new school year, it still seems that fall brings a similar return to regular schedules. After the backyard barbeques, weekends at the lake, hikes in the mountains, or whatever other summertime activities we participate in, many of us use the more predictable routine of autumn to renew our focus on our work. In that vein, this issue of The O&P EDGE offers ways to approach business challenges that practices may face.

Our first feature, "Maintaining Professionalism in a Competitive O&P Climate," confronts the issue of marketing your practice and competing with other practices in your area, without compromising your professionalism. The experts we spoke with offer practical advice about how to navigate the nuances of this balancing act.

"Educational In-services: Benefiting the Healthcare Team, Patients, and O&P Providers" focuses on raising awareness of the profession and the clinician's role on the rehabilitation care team by providing educational opportunities in O&P to individuals from other healthcare disciplines. In-services also provide a chance for you to share the documentation O&P providers must have in patients' records and the billable services represented by L-codes-both of which help to spread understanding of the business side of the profession. While it may not be the intent of the in-services, they can also help build name recognition for the presenting business.

Our department articles provide ideas for increasing revenue streams and boosting efficiency in "Using Retail to Balance the Bottom Line," and "Because That's How We've Always Done It." The former explores ways in which pedorthic practices may augment a core business of filling prescriptions for custom orthotics and diabetic shoes with select retail products to bridge the gap created by slow insurance payments and shifting reimbursement policies. The latter encourages O&P practices to examine their day-to-day processes in an effort to uncover inefficiencies and discover new ways of doing everyday tasks, which might result in a better bottom line.

As you greet fall's comfortable routine, I hope this issue will inspire you to find things you can do to enrich your O&P practice. If you are attending the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association National Assembly, stop by booth number 732 and say hello.

On another note, I would like to congratulate the staff of The O&P EDGE on its two 2016 Editorial TABBIE awards, an awards program sponsored by the Trade, Association and Business Publications International (TABPI).