Editor's Note - August 2021

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By Andrea Spridgen

While clinical expertise and compassion are essential for quality O&P care, there are factors outside of the exam room that also affect the patient experience. In this issue we explore the challenges around insurance approval and reimbursement that can delay provision of O&P devices, how wait times can influence patients' perspective of their care, and how lessons learned treating high-level athletes can transfer to everyday clinical practice. 

Restoring function is at the heart of O&P practice, which involves providing the best devices to meet patients' needs. But getting insurance approval and proper reimbursement can be an ongoing frustration for many clinics. Delays or denial in insurance approval can leave patients in limbo without a device to get them back to living life fully or with a device that does not adequately meet all their needs. In "Trials and Tribulations of Insurance Approval," we spoke with reimbursement specialists about their challenges getting insurance approval for patient devices and strategies for successful reimbursement.

Very few people enjoy waiting. Yet it is an unavoidable reality of our experience and made all the more unpleasant when what we are waiting for is not something we are looking forward to—as is often the case with medical encounters. "Wait Time and Satisfaction" discusses research around the psychology of waiting and how it applies to patients' perspectives of the quality of their O&P care.

As we gear up for the Paralympics that kick off at the end of the month, we teamed up with Amplitude to bring you a profile of Francois Van Der Watt, CPO, who has provided prosthetic care for multiple Paralympians. But, as he shared with us, he uses the insights he's gained treating these high-performance athletes in providing care for his K2-level patients. Look for even more Paralympic coverage on Amplitude's website,  livingwithamplitude.com/paralympics, throughout the Games. 

Happy reading.