<img style="float: right;" src="https:\/\/opedge.com\/Content\/OldArticles\/images\/2005-07_03\/view_1.jpg" hspace="4" vspace="4" \/>\r\n\r\nRecent events regarding fraud and abuse highlight\r\nthe long-standing need to separate DME providers from licensed (in\r\nstates where applicable), certified prosthetists and orthotists and\r\ncredentialed O&P facilities. More information about\r\nhigh-profile fraud cases in Florida can be found in our news item\r\n"<a href="edge\/issues\/articles\/NEWS_2005-05-11_01.asp">Florida Fraud Costs Medicare<\/a>."\r\n\r\nWhile licensure and\/or certification are not absolute guarantees\r\nagainst fraud and abuse or poor practice standards by an individual\r\npractitioner, they greatly increase the assurance of competent care\r\nfor amputees and orthotic patients. They help prevent financial\r\nloss to government and private payers. These avenues also provide a\r\nmechanism for fraudulent or substandard providers to lose their\r\nlicense and\/or certification. Now, though, in many areas, almost\r\nanyone can hang out their shingle, put an ad in the Yellow Pages,\r\nand start practicing.\r\n\r\nO&P may face an identity crisis in the eyes of patients,\r\npayers, and the public, but the future definitely looks bright if\r\nthe field can get through the next few tough years. This is the\r\nconclusion of some experts in the field, as discussed in the\r\nfeature article, "<a href="edge\/issues\/articles\/2005-07_01.asp">O&P: Who Are We?<\/a>"\r\n<h4>PT Direct Access: A Bad Idea?<\/h4>\r\nWhy do legislative affairs experts consider the Physical\r\nTherapist Direct Access legislation a bad idea for O&P? Walt\r\nGorski, director of legislative and regulatory affairs for the\r\nAmerican Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA), and Peter\r\nThomas, general counsel for the National Association for the\r\nAdvancement of Orthotics & Prosthetics (NAAOP) explain their\r\nviews in our feature <a href="edge\/issues\/articles\/2005-07_02.asp">PT Direct Access article<\/a>.\r\n<h4>Lobbying: Patients Help<\/h4>\r\n"Thanks to the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and\r\nModernization Act of 2003, the cutbacks on certain diabetic foot\r\nprocedure codes have gone too far to make routine care for the\r\ndiabetic foot a reality for all patients who truly need it," points\r\nout NAAOP Vice President Mark Taylor, MLS, CPO. But when it comes\r\nto getting the ear of legislators, patients can help, Taylor\r\nobserves in the <a href="edge\/issues\/articles\/2005-07_04.asp">DC Direct\u00a0article<\/a>.\r\n<h4>Murderball!<\/h4>\r\nAnd anyone who might think "disabled" equals "weak" will likely\r\nchange his mind after seeing a murderball game. This fast, tough\r\nsport, also known as "quad rugby," is the subject of a film and\r\nalso the sports article\u00a0 "<a href="edge\/issues\/articles\/2005-07_05.asp">Murderball: Quad Rugby Wheels onto the Big\r\nScreen<\/a>."\r\n\r\nWell, those summer days may not be "hazy" or "lazy" as the song\r\nsays, and they may be a bit "crazy," but we hope everyone is\r\nenjoying some fun in the sun.