Pedorthist 'integral to health team'

Friday, September 26, 2014

Every five to seven years, the Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC) conducts a Job Task Analysis to gauge the changing role of the pedorthist. The latest survey went out in July. Wendy Miller, chief credentialing officer for the BOC, spoke to HME News recently about why the pedorthist is no longer simply a “shoe fitter.”

HME News: How has the role of the pedorthist evolved?

Wendy Miller: Today, the pedorthist is a professional with expertise and knowledge of the biomechanics of the foot and ankle, providing pedorthic devices and modalities. The pedorthist is an integral part of the healthcare team, providing quality care for the diabetic patient, as well as other individuals with medical conditions related to the lower extremities, and helping patients return to an active, healthy quality of life.

HME: How does licensure benefit pedorthists?

Miller: There is a clear definition of the role of a licensed pedorthist. Thus, pedorthists are distinguished from fitters based on their scope, and licensure rules typically establish minimum education, certification standards, and requirements for continuing education.

HME: What are some of  the challenges pedorthists face?

Miller: CMS does not recognize the practitioner’s medical record as proof of medical necessity. The practitioner must rely on the prescribing physician to provide the appropriate documentation in the patient’s medical record. The practitioner is subject to pre- and post-payment reviews, which usually result in returning funds to CMS or a delay in reimbursement. The lack of revenue is a serious concern for the small business owner.