Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Dealing with the VA for orthotic care

Kevin Matthews

I am curious if others are experiencing similar problems
 Hello all,

I am curious if others are experiencing similar problems with their local VA Prosthetics Service.

I was under the impression that service connected veterans have a choice when it comes to orthotic and prosthetic care.  I have for years been seeing VA patients for orthotic care, and have never had one complaint  They appreciate the convenience of my office locations and the level of service we provide.  Recently veterans have been told they can no longer come to my office for care.  They are told they need to go to the local VA and be seen by a practitioner there.  I was told by the local assistant chief of prosthetic services an orthotist needs to evaluate the patient to ensure  what the physician was prescribing was in fact needed and appropriate for the patient.   Of course, once at the VA they tell them whatever story suits them to get them to let them provide the device.  They don’t make it themselves, they send it out to a c-fab somewhere and justify their existance by the few dollars they think they save. 

I very recently had a patient legally blind in one eye and has cataracts in the other return for new foot orthotics.  The local VA orthotist said she needed to drive the 20 plus miles so they could evaluate her.  She said she has been seeing me for years and did not want to drive to the VA.  He said she had to come in.  When she asked who she needed to talk to about his ruling, patient advocate, service chief…he changed his mind, he said would allow me to make her orthotics. 

As a veteran myself I hate to see the practitioners at the San Antonio VA deprive their patients of a choice they are entitled toand lie to them about their options.  I have tried to get an appointment with the staff to discuss this and find out what the rules actually are.  They have refused to see me.  They said the veterans have a choice and they had no desire to investigate the numerous verifiable cases and examples of just the opposite. 

I am writing a letter to my congressman and would like to include any other instances other providers may have encountered.  I appreciate your input.     

Kevin C. Matthews, CO/LO
Advanced Orthopedic Designs
12315 Judson Rd. #206
San Antonio, Texas 78233
210-657-8105 fax
[email protected]


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