By Will Graybeal
For many years people have been able to get diabetic shoes and inserts provided to them and covered by their insurance. It became a standard of care in the 1990’s for people with diabetes and foot problems that put them at high risk for skin breakdown, which could lead to amputation. Since then, millions of people have been fitted with shoes and inserts. Due to such high demand, the insurance companies have increased or had greater enforcement of the rules that apply to obtaining diabetic shoes and inserts.
Over the past few years it has become tougher to obtain these services, and the policies are stricter. Now you have to have a face-to-face visit with your doctor that treats you for your diabetes, they have to document this in their office notes, and then write an order for you to have diabetic shoes and inserts. Additionally, we are now required to have foot exam performed by an MD or DO along with their certifying statement that they are treating you for these reasons. Being a type 1 or type 2 diabetic does not mean that you get these services; there is a list of other reasons that must apply as well. This is all confirmed by your treating physician.
This documentation can be picked up at our offices, and we help you in the process. Ultimately, it is up to you the patient to make sure you have this information before you are seen in any office to be provided with diabetic shoes.
The best way to ensure you are getting the best care is to come by and pick up a diabetic shoe packet at one of our office locations. Then, you will need to take that to your treating doctor and have that face-to-face visit. Once we receive this information back, we review it and make sure it is completed correctly. Since there are doctors’ offices that are not fully informed of the rules, sometimes we have to request further information or have the patient return for more review with their doctor. We feel that over time all providers will be fully aware of these rules, and it will become easier to receive the care you need. It all starts with being informed.
One Size Does NOT Fit All
We are constantly coming up with new ways to offload wounds, and different kinds of materials can be used to help each patient in their specific need. Not every one fits well into the same kind of shoe or the same exact material of the insert. If you are a larger person or you are very active you may need extra support in your insert material. You may have other complications with toe amputations or partial foot amputations. You may have a foot deformity that prevents a premade or off-the-shelf shoe from working. You may have another diagnosis that has caused your foot wound or callus and need other devices to fully correct your problem. All of these things are what we are doing to increase your success rate. We address all of these issues when we do your initial evaluation.
Your Next Steps
The first step can begin with your doctor visit; they may need the packet to fill out (available any of our 5 locations). You can establish contact with our office first and become a patient, but keep in mind we cannot treat you without the prescription from your doctor. Feel free to stop by and talk with one of our practitioners or the front desk for more information. It is our privilege to provide excellent service and help you get on your way to an active lifestyle.
Bristol Orthotics and Prosthetics
Kingsport, TN | Bristol, TN | Greeneville, TN | Johnson City, TN
Abingdon, VA | Norton, VA