<img class="" style="float: right;" src="https:\/\/opedge.com\/Content\/OldArticles\/images\/2003-08_09\/Friddle-Frank.jpg" width="220" height="249" hspace="4" vspace="4" \/>\r\n\r\nWith the buzzwords "Quality Patient Care" being the driving force for the Negotiated Rulemaking process, I feel the need to express the concerns I have as an owner of a central fabrication facility in regard to this topic. Being the third-generation practitioner in my family, I am well aware of what makes the certified O&P practitioner the utmost "qualified" professional to dispense orthotic and prosthetic care. Education, experience and ongoing training are the undeniable foundations that we rely on daily as certified practitioners.\r\n\r\nHowever, since the emergence of numerous central fabrication\r\nfacilities offering practically every conceivable orthotic and\/or\r\nprosthetic device imagined, quality of patient care takes on a new\r\nfacet. The qualifications of the technicians or practitioners that\r\nown or operate central fabrication companies are not in\r\nquestion.\r\n\r\nI feel it is common knowledge that therapists lack the\r\nfabrication skills needed to provide quality and adequate orthotic\r\nand prosthetic devices, as well as the other skills used by\r\ncertified O&P practitioners. The simple solution to this\r\nproblem for therapists is to employ the services of a central\r\nfabrication facility. Personally this is where I draw the line. It\r\nis my belief and a policy of my company that we require a certified\r\npractitioner (in the discipline in question) to be a fulltime\r\nemployee of the facility for whom we are fabricating a device.\r\nProviding orthotic and prosthetic devices to allied healthcare\r\nprofessionals not trained and educated in the proper use, fitting,\r\nand adjusting of such devices is surely putting quality patient\r\ncare in jeopardy.\r\n\r\nAs a central fabrication owner who restricts for whom I\r\nfabricate, I feel I have increased the possibility that some\r\npatient somewhere has a better chance of receiving the quality of\r\ncare that he deserves. I truly hope that the many other excellent\r\ncentral fabrication companies delivering O&P devices throughout\r\nthe country share my thoughts.