Prescribing Foot Orthotics
Referring your patients/clients to Stride Orthopaedics for a Pedorthic Assessment, Custom Foot Orthoses, or Footwear Modification is easy and effective. It will allow your patient to book an appointment with a Certified Pedorthist (Canada), where they will receive a complete history, biomechanical assessment, gait analysis and footwear analysis. Please feel free to read the frequently asked questions by doctors.
I think my patient needs foot orthotics, what is the first step?
A referral is a prescription from the referring practitioner. This can be as simple as Please Assess and Treat, or as complex as a full biomechanical assessment from the referring practitioner requesting a specific device, modification, or a pair of custom made footwear. The CPed(C)'s at Stride Orthopaedics have worked hard to build a relationship with the local medical team, and will determine the type of referral made. In some cases, referring practitioners may request an assessment from the C Ped (C) prior to filling a complete prescription for treatment.
My patient has already received an assessment, why has this occurred?
In many regions of Canada, it can be difficult to schedule an appointment with a family physician within a quick time frame. We perform this service to expedite the patient's treatment. In these situations, an initial assessment by a Registered Member of The College of Pedorthics of Canada can be arranged. At Stride Orthopaedics & Footwear our CPed(C)'s charge a professional fee for this initial consultation. Following this appointment, a report can be sent to the clients physician, or referral source indicating any underlying pathologies that may require pedorthic intervention. If custom product is required, the client's assessment fee will be included in the cost of the custom foot orthoses, custom footwear, or footwear modification.
Why is a prescription required for custom made products and services?
Custom made products effect the alignment, movement pattern, and function of bones and joints of the human body. There may also be effects on the integumentary system (skin) that play an important role in a variety of disease processes (Diabetes, Psoriatic Arthritis, Kidney disease and more). Custom Foot Orthoses are viewed as a medical treatment, similar to prescription medication and eye glasses; as such, we believe that the decision to use such a device should be made with the consultation of the Doctor, who understands the full medical history of the patient. As well, we believe that the individual who provides the service and custom made product should be working on the referral of a Doctor; similar to the Doctor-Pharmacist relationship.
My patient has foot pain, is a custom foot orthosis always required?
No, it depends on the severity of malalignment, symptoms, and the nature of the activity the patient is participating in. Often, improved footwear, off the shelf products, or a minor adjustment to the patient's current footwear can solve the problem. We strive to provide the most effective solution for each of our clients. Again, the analogy to eye glasses can be used. Some people are able to use only reading glasses, and do not require prescription eye wear.
My patient has extended Health Care Benefits, how does this effect the prescription?
Many of our clients have extended health care benefits (Insurance) that may cover the services and products provided at Stride Orthopaedics. In order to access these benefits, the client will require a prescription, with a diagnosis. This does not assure that the client has coverage. Insurance coverage is different from one individual to another. It is a contract between the patient and the insurance company. It is the responsibility of the policy holder to deal with submissions to extended health care plans.
My patient is a Status Indian, with possible coverage through Health Canada's First Nation and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB), how does this effect the prescription?
Aboriginal people may have coverage through the FNIHB. In order to access this coverage a prescription is required, with a diagnosis, and the billing number of the referring practitioner. In the Northwestern Ontario region, we are classified as and "under serviced region". As such, prescription form a General Practitioner or Registered Nurse Practitioner is acceptable.
Once the prescription has been written, the client must attend an assessment appointment, following which a quotation will be made to the FNIHB program. It takes from one to six weeks for approval to be granted, at which time the othoses will be manufactured. If the patient has other forms of extended health care benefits, they must be accessed first.
Once orthoses have been dispensed, what does the patient do?
Again, foot orthoses are like eye glasses; when you wear them the help. When you do not wear them, they do not help. Clients are booked for dispensing appointments once the foot orthoses are ready. At this appointment, the CPed(C) will ensure that the interface between the foot orthosis and the footwear is appropriate, and describe the break in process. Follow up appointments are provided as needed by the client. There is no charge for follow up appointments for the first six months. Adjustments to the orthoses can be done on the spot by our CPed(C)'s and can be very effective in improving fit and function of the devices. Having a laboratory on-site and having the experience and skill set to know what to do are crucial to ensuring the best treatment for your patient.