Friday, May 20, 2022

Patient Survey Follow-up


Hello Colleagues and Guests,

Two things. First, I’ve been told folks can’t access the survey at I’m not quite sure why that is so
because I do know that some have accessed the site without problems. I
tested it a few minutes ago with another person using another computer
and it went just fine. At times, it is hard for me to test because I
have a lot of software installed and the caching can sometimes trick you
into believing things are working when they are not. Anyway, here is a
direct link to the survey.

Second, I have received at least one negative reply asking why I am
trying to speak for the entire O&P community. Frankly, I’m not sure how
the survey has anything to do with that, but if that seems to be the
case, that was certainly not the intent. Having been involved with
several organizations myself in the past, I understand that you can’t
please everyone. At any rate, for those who don’t want to be involved,
it is not a problem. I suppose this survey can be used purely by those
who participate if others don’t want to be involved or connected with
it. That being the case, we’ll only be speaking for ourselves, based
upon our own experiences. So far, there is interest and the process has
already started. As I mentioned before, the purpose of the survey is to
help collect information that may hopefully support the concept of
getting orthotists and prosthetists to a point where we can provide the
definitive CMS prescription in consultation and agreement with the
prescribing physician. I will go on record to proclaim that very few
physicians have the knowledge to write the definitive (Medicare
compliant) O&P prescription and furthermore, most don’t want to be
burdened with this aspect of O&P care. For every physician you can stand
in front of me who believes that I’m wrong, I’ll stand 10 in front of
you supporting my claim.

In my opinion, one of the major factors with our audit problem is that
CMS is not allowing a reasonable and responsible communicative
relationship to exist between the prescribing physician, the O&P
practitioner, and the patient. I further believe that all the
work-around templates we can dream up for the physicians will not solve
this problem. The only real solution is to have the O&P practitioner
write the definitive prescription, as mentioned above. As I see it, here
is what that involves. The physician, lets say writes a prescription for
a rigid spinal orthosis where the lumbar spine is involved. Of course
with the ICD-9 included, along with other prescription notes of
importance or even a phone call from the physician, and the input from
the patient, things should really not be that confusing. If they are,
then a follow-up call with the prescribing physician for further
clarification is in order. Unless there are differences of opinion by
the O&P practitioner or some other confusion, then we agree with the
need for spinal orthotic care, develop the definitive (Medicare
compliant) prescription, including medical documentation as pertinent,
for the services rendered within the confines of the original
prescription and send it on to the prescribing physician for final
agreement and signature. Not only will this help eliminate the need for
costly taxpayer funded auditors, it should smooth out the entire O&P
arena while at the same time improving upon the outcome measures that
healthcare is looking for these days. It should also help minimize the
need for another group of folks who understand O&P to audit the
auditors. Unless things change, I believe that day is coming. If there
are better ways to address these issues, I’d sure love to hear about
them. So far, I’ve heard nothing. I have heard a lot about O&P
evaporating in front of our eyes. Giving CMS and government legislators
information that supports our position should be a good thing.

Last, this survey was circulated among two O&P organizations without
major complaint and suggestions for improvement were offered and
incorporated into the final document. This is not a scientific survey
and it certainly doesn’t follow a pscychometrician’s**model. It is
simply a straight forward survey to get a sense of what the folks we
take care of think about us, to some extent, and our services. How can
that be a bad thing?

Thanks again.

Wil Haines, CPO
MaxCare Bionics
Avon, IN 46123


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