There are about 1000 Orthopedic Technologists in Florida. Some
have figured out they are better off hiring an Orthotech than an
fitter or even another high salaried Orthotist. The Orthotech does
to be “supervised” according to the O&P rules and are not limited as
orthotic fitters are.
Wrong again. Support personnel, as defined by F.S. 468.808 are allowed
to provide services only under the direct
supervision of a licensee as defined by this act and the rules of the
Board. The “Orthotech” has no additional privilege over
any other regular unlicensed employee.
This is the same situation as Physical Therapists have with Physical
Therapist Assistants and Licensed Massage Therapists. The PT practice
would hire a PTA or LMT who did the same job as a PT (except for PT
evaluations) for about half the pay as a PT. Hospitals and private
PT’s fired PT’s and hired cheaper PTA’s. How long before Hangar
out OT’s and trained ATC’s can replace Orthotists for about 90% of the
patients who walk through their door.
I have limited knowledge of the laws and rules governing PT or LMT, but
I doubt they are much different then O&P’s as
most Boards are governed by the rules of the Department of Health.
Yes, there still will be a CO but his staff will be OT’s and ATC’s in
Florida. Remember, Florida has several BS college programs for ATC’s
even training for Orthotechs, but no Orthotic Program yet. ( how many
will even stay in the state?) Companies like Depuy (DJ Ortho) are
ATC’s and Orthotechs and placing them in their large Stock & Bill
at orthopedic offices. I know a large O&P shop in Tampa that hired an
orthotech 5 years ago to do fittings. It was the “smart move”.
Who licensees hire is up to them, but they put their license in jeopardy
if they are allowing unlicensed personnel to perform
services regulated by the P&O law. Additionally, five years ago you
could have your janitor provide services if that was your
level of commitment to the patient. As of July 1997 that changed.
There are about 300-400 people in the Florida who are licensed under
Law. There are about 200,000 who are specifically exempted by the
There are over 400 licensees in Florida, the number exempted is of no
relevance as the great majority do not provide O&P
services even though they are exempt. The major difference licensure
has made is that patients now have a venue through
which they may file complaints. Unsatisfactory services provided by
licensees are addressed by the Board, those provided
by exempt persons are addressed by their respective Boards, and those
provided by unlicensed persons are prosecuted by
the Department of Health and the State Attorney General’s office.
I once asked a Florida O&P Board member why so many exemptions?
He replied, “Because it was the only way to get it passed. The other
medical professions have their lobbyists too”.
Charles Barocas, C.O