Florida’s O&P Licensure law is alive and well. It’s recent enactment was the
result of hard dedicated work by the majority of qualified dedicated
professionals whom believed and whom supported regulating themselves.
It was also the result of support of consumers whom establishment of
educational standards and demanded accountability and state oversight to the
Regulation was necessary to protect the consumer, and to upgrade the status
of the “trade” to a legitimate health care “profession”. Its immediate
introduction was not meant to eliminate all unqualified competition from the
market place or maintain cheap labor for unlicensed technicians and
assistants by O&P facilities and the large national chains.
Mr. Barocas, ORT96, maybe its not the perfect scenario of perfect regulation
but it’s enactment was fair and good enough to “better” protect the
consumer.Good enough to recieve unaminous support by Florida legislators.
As a direct result from the enactment of regulation in this state:
1) Florida Medicaid expanded O&P coverage for adults over the age of 21
years of age for the first time in Florida’s history.
2) Provided a meaningful credential and reflection of integrity and
professionalism now finally and officially recognized as a legitimate health
care profession in this state.
3) Better restricted “vendors” that may want to continue to represent
themselves as orthotists,prosthetists,prosthetists-orthotists,orthotic
fitters,orthotic fitters,etc.when they have no training background, or are
of not of good moral character,etc.
4) Initiated practitioners and consumers in presently 4 other states and the
federal government to enact meaningful O&P regulation.
5) Is presently a driving force to encourage new policy by HMOs and PPOs in
Florida’s health “mangled ” care system, and private insurance providers, to
consider contracting with exclusively state licensed professionals not
necessarily the lowest bidder or those operating under a provisional
Charley, be proud of the professional status that you have worked and
trained so hard for.
The successful enactment of “model regulation” in this state has encouraged
other model licensure efforts in states across the country and the to the
federal government. Those indivisuals that hold this credential and maintain
the standards, are recognized as true worthy health care professionals and
are the envy of unlicensed practitioners of the other states.
When did ABC and BOC last suspend ,revoked or fine one of their own as the
result of complaints from consumers claiming improper services?
!!Certification standards compliment a professional state license credential
not the other way around.
I, for one, who requires ongoing O&P health care, am very grateful to the
majority of the O&P professionals in this state that supported regulation as
a vehicle to “better” upgrade the profession and “better” protect me from
the possibilities of shoddy services. Services that prior to regulation,
could have been and were provided by ANYONE.
Today with effective regulation in place in Florida, I have a “better”
chance of receiving proper coverage and better quality of services.
This is what this is all about, accountability, not mandatory 100%
supervision or elimination of grand fathering issues. True,regulation may
not of initially eliminated all the unlicensed competition but remember, it
is a new law.The first of its type in the country.
The introduction of mandatory continuing educational courses and testing,
and state board oversight will eventually weed out the unqualified. Give it
a chance to work by supporting it.
Finally, someone can be held accountable and not just by a certification
board which was never established to provide oversight. Previously it was
the lack of accountability and meaningfull oversight that resulted in health
care providers to raise premiums, and reduce and eliminate O&P coverage.
Charles, do you not think your health care profession is worthy of a state
Look at the passage O&P regulation in this state as “the glass being half
full, not half empty!”
Its a start and a damn good one at that! One that motivated true regulation
in Texas,Washington,Ohio and Illinois!
Legislation which was modeled after Florida but not as restrictive.
Congratulations Florida licensed professionals! Be proud of your licensure
status-you deserve it!
—– Original Message —–
From: Charles Barocas,C.O.
Sent: Sunday, September 17, 2000 7:24 AM
Subject: Florida O&P Law
> I don’t understand how the O&P Law in Florida cab be weakened any more
> it is. Has anyone read the exemption page of the statutes? As long as
> you call yourself a different title (should be a real title with a
> organization) other than an orthotist, orthotic fitter or fitter asst, you
> can do any orthosis you please.
> There are about 300-400 people in the Florida who are licensed under the
> Law. There are about 200,000 who are specifically exempted by the same
> 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