Developing The Prosthetic Prescription
27 Oct 2017
The impressive advances of prosthetic materials and designs in recent years have significantly changed the way prosthetic limb prescriptions are created. Gone are the days when the construction of a new prosthesis was primarily determined by the amputation level.
With today’s medical-surgical capabilities for extending life, the many componentry options available, and our existing reimbursement climate, it is important that those involved in a new amputee’s care make an educated, proactive determination of his/her prospective functional benefit from wearing a limb prosthesis before making prescription decisions.
That determination – and the ultimate prosthetic prescription if prosthetic rehabilitation is deemed appropriate – is best made by a team consisting of the patient’s attending physician and family/caregivers, the amputating surgeon, the prosthetist who will be providing the replacement limb, the physical therapist who will be training the patient in its use, a psychologist or social worker who can help the new amputee through the adjustment period, an insurance nurse/case manager, and whenever possible the patient himself/herself.
The process of developing a prosthetic prescription for a new amputee can range from quick and easy to involved and detailed depending on the patient’s capabilities and functional desires. The prescription usually is initiated by the amputating surgeon, then amplified and fleshed out by the providing prosthetist, ideally with significant input from the aforementioned specialists, the patient and his/her caregivers.
In today’s reimbursement world, the final word on the makeup of a prosthetic limb often comes from the government or private insurer. If a limb is to be funded by Medicare, its assembly and componentry must not exceed the allowable limits set forth for the patient’s functional level. The Veterans Administration operates under similar guidelines.
Private insurance providers often require advance authorization for prosthesis funding and frequently require detailed justification before approving advanced, more-costly components.
It is a sad reality that the prosthesis an amputee receives today is more a reflection of what the funding source will pay for than what the patient desires or needs.
Our prosthetic staff is dedicated to providing every patient entrusted to our care with lifetime care and the most-appropriate replacement limb for that individual’s state of health, functional capabilities, personal desires and economic situation.
LeTourneau Prosthetics welcomes your inquiries, referrals and requests for assistance. We have offices located throughout Southeast Texas. Please visit us in Beaumont, Nederland/Port Arthur and Jasper. We are proud to also see many different patients from as far away as Lake Charles, Louisiana and even Houston, Texas.
Your initial consultation is free.