Thursday, May 26, 2022

Support the Academy’s New Bylaws

tony barr

Kudos to the New Academy.

With their newly enacted by-laws AAOP can help stop the division that has occurred for far too many years in the “profession”..


The voting ballots have been mailed to the Academy’s membership and must be returned to the Academy by June 5, said Academy President Don E. Katz, CO, LO, FAAOP. A two-thirds majority of those voting must be in the affirmative for the bylaws to pass, he added.

Although I disagree with the Academy position that state licensed Orthotists and prosthetists are not eligible for the Active AAOP membership classification, alternative credentialing eligibility for AAOP affiliate membership would increase your professional membership(under a strong platform of promoting state licensure)generate a stronger legislative voice to seperate O&P from DME and unify both credentialed practitioner groups at a time that is crucial to your “profession”.

Isn’t the real enemy here the unqualified and uncertified providers that are practicing your profession and the perception by law makers that O&P is DME?

My take is that this field can be viewed as a united profession under one professional association and better assure all 50 states get regulated, provided AAOP would consider a more unified policy on promoting such efforts!

Perhaps a mere patient of your services whom is not a practitioner nor credentialed, but somewhat familiar with the ongoing strife and controversy in your “profession”, can make better make suggestions without prejudice.

Professional unity via professional unification of both credentials and a state license thru the Academy not BOC and ABC.

The Academy ,thru a membership by-law change, not via a board of directors or management committee decision, has allowed BOC practitioners eligibility to Academy membership. I urge you to support the proposed By-Laws changes.

The NEW Academy can further provide the much needed unity of both certification credential providers under one professional umbrella and the
leadership(?) of ABC and BOC can sit on the sidelines and see what happened as the result of their on going feuding and bickering !

A united front of ABC/BOC/and PT practitioners membership in the Academy’s can lead to support and sponsorship of a National Licensure Conference, which can help all individual states become licensed and the requirement of a certification is less meaningful.

Yes did you know that PTs OTs and other health care providers, pedorthotists,podiatrists,physicians,rehab enginers,case managers are eligible for Academy membership already? Unite all providers of O&P services under one professional association umbrella.

The NEW Academy as a “professional” organization of approx 3,000, can show more strength in numbers, can better unite on defending encroachment of other O&P providers and stop all of this nonsense…..NOW.
Your profession needs numbers and here is your opportunity.

Now before all you ABC diehards start sending in your posts of disagreement, keep in mind that many of you were mailed your certificates in the early years of ABC and all licensure acts in 10 states were passed because 3-5 year grandfather criteria for ABC,BOC and non certified practitioners was established in every regulated state.

Once licensure acts are enacted in all 50 states, you can better assure preventing encroachment of your “profession” and decide where to put optional certification insignias next to perhaps more meaningful credentials, LP,LO and LPO.

Don’t you think the time has come for your field to be recognized as professional providers of O&P services and to make the transition from certified practitioner to licensed health care provider?

The Academy leadership and Academy members agrees.

“The point being my friends,” as Gary Lamb LPO,FAAOP ,past president of the Academy and Chairman of the Legislative Advocacy Committee of AAOP, correctly pointed out in the February 15, O&P Business News.
“any state without licensure of O&P has no standing. This means that physical therapists (and other licensed health care providers) can simply change their practice act in that state to provide O&P care…Then it becomes illegal for orthotists and prosthetists(credentialed or
uncredentialed) to deliver the care they have traditionally provided.”

James Cobb BOC
I attended the meeting in the Reno about the ABC-BOC merger talks and have also been reading most of the posts on this forum as well. I definitely see both sides of the coin. Here is my side. Every organization has good points and bad points. I have never been apart any organization nor heard of one that has satisfied 100 percent of it members. As a community of professionals we are all facing a grim future of insurance cut backs and reduction of benefits. We all need to be united in our fight to be allowed provide patient care. The million dollar question is how can we become united? We have two major certifying organizations with different avenues both being allowed to practice the same medicine. Unfortunately both have been pitted against each other and now our fight is against each other instead of against legislation. There are a lot of proud practitioners both ABC and BOC. Each feel stepped on. It has now become personal.

I agree with Mr. Barr that every organization needs a good “shaking up”.
This “shaking up” gets every ones opinions out on the table. Communication is our best tool, the lack of communication is our worst enemy. Every one in our profession at one time or another has thought or at least heard someone say that ABC certification is better than BOC. I have personally read many classifieds that asked for “at least BOC certification”. This implies that ABC practitioners utilize a higher standard of care than BOC.
This again starts another thousand arguments and hurt feelings. Point being, we do need one set standard of practicing medicine, one credentialing body, and one huge voice shouting together in Washington D.C. I have a lot of friends ABC and BOC. I have a lot of friends who are doctors, nurses and therapists. We honestly look weak as a whole in the medical community. We need to strengthen and unite together. We also need to weed out the weak on both sides of the ABC-BOC street. Maybe we should think of these points before merger talks begin again. First, at a minimum all “practitioners”
must of have completed a residency or a minimum hour trade course to ensure formal education. The problem with straight OJT is someone can’t teach it if they don’t know it. A professors job is to know it, all of it.

Secondly, make everyone immediately retake an examination of their respective field/s. This will weed out some people; which is a good thing.
Lastly, mandate tests or “boards” every 4-5 years along with CEU’s. If we are going to unite we must all prove to be equal and then must set high standards for people to maintain. I really am not trying to anger anyone.
I am trying to get us to think together as a whole for a resolution to the problem. The government and insurance companies will not wait for us to sort out our problems. I read a post earlier talking about animals and getting attacked when we are the weakest. Well friends, our community is very shaky right now. We need to be looking out for each other not hurting each other.

Ronald Gingras FAAOP,LPO
“I believe it is time for a paradigm shift. Our credentialing should come from AAOP. The only elected group of professionals that we have. We AAOP members need to encourage AAOP to feel empowered to assume the leadership role and responsibility regarding educational standards/credentials in addition to what they already do.AAOP has taken a leadership role and done a remarkable job with so many issues for years, to mention a few, education, research, continuing education, and professional development issues .They are true to our mission/profession. Our educational issues and the
development of our profession better aligns with AAOP than where they
currently operate from .I believe ABC should only be about the test, not the standards.
Professional standards should be regulated by professionals exclusively.

Ralph W. Nobbe,FAAOP, CPO
“Thanks Tony – for a thoughtful and professionally appropriate solution.This may be the most viable solution to this seemingly insurmountable problem. If than Academy can accept the induction of members through alternative credentialing sources it may prove that this field can rise above the infighting and truly be “professionals” and then become a unified front.

I believe professional education and furthering of standards are also in the long term best interest of the Academy. ”

Joan Cestraro CP, recently and appropriately pointed out:
“the bigger picture here is the fact that ABC practitioners have absolutely no say in the decisions of the ABC Board- a board that represents US?.They can (and have) made a decision that affects each of us deeply and we just have to live with it. It’s a done deal and we can do nothing about it except whine and complain. We cannot vote to oust the board or elect different leadership next year. We were given no debate in this issue. What can Practitioners do and where can we turn to unite to democratically elect a board that will serve the interests of its members and make decisions based on the opinions of the majority and not a few “appointed from within, good old boys/gals”? Isn’t that the larger and more important issue NOW?
Let’s now focus on WHY we are all frustrated and what we can all do to prevent such non democratic decisions in the future. We often take for granted the fact that we live in a democratic society until we are part of something like this.”

Just as important, once united under one professional umbrella you can separate your services from DME and get on with many projects described by the NEW Academy’s “aggressive” plans for Project Quantum Leap :

1) the task of educating third party payers and legislators that you provide a legitimate health care service and patient care along with a product, not just retail services.

2) “Presenting O&P as a career option so we can ensure the viability of the field in the profession” Don Katz ,CO, President of the Academy.

3) Developing a pathway of expansion for O&P Masters and doctoral degrees.

4) resolve the serious dilemma of the deficit in advanced educational opportunities in O&P.

5)Develop a master agenda for priority topics (like conducting a National Licensure Conference) and method for planning and conducting consensus conferences.

Who knows one day perhaps AAOP might even include a consumer/patient member to your board of directors.
I maybe available and eligible as I am already a honorary member of FAOP, AND provided the unity of all O&P professionals is embraced by the Academy.

Vote yes for the proposed by-law change and help unite your profession. Its not a perfect solution to your dilemma but it’s a damn good start.

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone.
Tony Barr
Barr Foundation


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