Prosthetist says, time to stop pushing O&P into the corner

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dennis Clark got his start in prosthetics working as a janitor and technician at his father’s O&P business in 1968 and obtained his own credentials in 1980. These days, he’s a partner in Clark & Associates Prosthetics and Orthotics in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Clark spoke with HME News recently about how the nature of the O&P industry has changed, and why he’s never wanted to do anything else.

HME News: How has providing O&P changed in recent years?

Dennis Clark: We’ve been protected to a certain extent from regulatory nightmares, but those days are gone. We need to be our own best advocate, as well as the best provider of O&P care.

HME: How have the documentation requirements gotten more onerous for prosthetics?

Clark: CMS no longer recognizes notes from the prosthetist as part of the medical record. They want it within the notes of the physician. I was trying to get more documentation from one physician and he said, “This is the information I used to get from you and now you are asking me for it.”

HME: Do all the rules and regulations impact patient care?

Clark: Here we are in the midst of the most new technology in the marketplace that we’ve ever seen. When used appropriately, that technology enhances that person’s function and we end up with healthier patients. That’s the No. 1 way to reduce costs in American health care. Instead, you’re pushing O&P professionals into a corner.