Prosthetics, unlike most areas of healthcare, is not reimbursed on a fee-for-service basis. Rather, prosthetics is reimbursed per product. Whether a practitioner sees a patient two times or twelve times, the reimbursement amount is the same. A conundrum for prosthetists is how to deliver quality care and prostheses and provide prostheses in a time frame that will keep the practice’s cash flow healthy. Delays in delivery times and/or unproductive patient appointments cost the practice money.
Initial evaluations, adjustments, and follow-up appointments are all bundled into the cost of the prosthesis. Therefore, in theory, a prosthetist can see an entire day’s worth of patients and have no income to show for it. Meanwhile, the costs of doing business for the practice (rent, salaries, phones, supplies) still need to be paid. Thus, delays in delivery have a direct impact on the financial health of the practice.