The American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA) has announced it is opposed to the delivery model of orthoses that relies on “lead generation marketing to identify and recruit potential patients for treatment with orthoses.”
Lead generation marketing uses broad stroke advertising such as television ads, websites and social media to encourage potential patients to contact a call center which then provides the leads to a select group of physician referral sources and medical equipment suppliers who facilitate the delivery of one or more orthoses to the patient, often without the patient seeing the referring physician or the supplier of the device, according to AOPA.
AOPA said it is “concerned” by this delivery model as it does not include fitting of the orthoses by healthcare professionals such as a certified and/or licensed orthotist. It also does not include patient education on the proper care and use of the orthosis, follow-up care, or patient evaluation to determine the clinical appropriateness of the prescribed orthosis.
Recent reports published by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General have confirmed that there have been increased instances of fraud and abuse involving knee and spinal orthoses. AOPA said it believes lead generation marketing strategies may be a significant contributor to this increase in fraud and abuse investigations.