What to Consider When Weighing Your Advanced Prosthetics and Orthotics Options
A prosthetist is a medical professional who provides prosthetic solutions and limbs, such as below-the-knee prosthetic legs. Unlike other medical devices, prosthetics are one of the few that require a customized fit, ongoing follow-ups as the amputation site changes, and specialized training to learn how to use the device. The learning curve for using a prosthetic device is different for everyone, but can take several months of one-on-one training.
One of the big decisions that patients must make is who will be the provider of their above-the-knee or below-the-knee prosthetic solution. Since most patients have no background in advanced prosthetics and orthotics, it may be difficult to figure out the appropriate vetting process for selecting a provider. With that in mind, consider the following attributes when searching for a local prosthetist.
Your Prosthetist Should be Experienced and Credentialed
Leading providers of prosthetic legs and other devices typically have a lengthy track record of experience in the industry, an advanced education, and credentials that certify their skills. Cotton Orthotic and Prosthetic Associates has providers on staff who are certified from the American Board for Certification (ABC) in Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Pedorthics. Cotton Orthotic and Prosthetic Associates is an ABC-certified clinic with a history of providing superior care to their patients.
Lead prosthetist, Daniel Cotton, has a formal education in prosthetics and completed his residency in Kansas City with NovaCare/Hanger Orthopedics. He is also a member of Limbs for Life and the Orthotic and Prosthetic Group of America (OPGA), which both aim to advance the field and make advanced prosthetics and orthotics more available to patients. Daniel Cotton and his associates have over 25 years of experience providing affordable, customized solutions to a wide range of patients.
Your Prosthetist Should Accept a Wide Range of Insurance Providers
The average below-the-knee prosthetic leg costs approximately $6,000 to $10,000. However, there are highly advanced above-the-knee prosthetic legs that can cost well over $50,000. As most patients find out, securing a prosthetic solution usually ends up being a costly unplanned medical expense.
When shopping for providers of advanced prosthetics and orthotics, the types of healthcare insurance they accept is almost as important as their training and background. Ideally, your prosthetist is an approved supplier of prosthetic solutions that accepts employer-provided insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, and other supplemental insurance and specialty programs.
Since insurance plans and coverages constantly change, prosthetic providers usually won’t list which insurance plans they accept on their websites. The best way to find out which insurance plans are covered is by contacting our office staff.
Your Prosthetist Should Have Several Options and the Bandwidth to Work with You
A reputable prosthetist will have a large catalog of prosthetic options they can offer patients. This not only ensures that they get the right solution for their lifestyle, but they also remain within their price range and the parameters of their insurance plan. Most patients base their selection on their functional level and our recommendation for a prosthetic limb.
That brings us to our next topic – continued care and follow up. When you work with a prosthetist, you will see them many times during your first year after your initial amputation. That’s because the site of your amputation will continue to change as it heals. These changes necessitate customizations and adjustments to your prosthetic limb to maintain an appropriate fit, which is a service that Cotton Orthotic and Prosthetic Associates happily provides to patients.
Your Prosthetist Should Be Convenient to Work With
Considering you will make multiple visits to your prosthetist, many patients find it convenient to work with someone who is close by. As a leading provider of advanced prosthetics and orthotics in the Midwest, we work with patients all throughout Johnson County and the greater Kansas City metropolitan area and surrounding communities.
The Next Steps for Inquiring About Prosthetic Legs and Other Medical Solutions
Now that you know how to appropriately vet a provider of advanced prosthetics and orthotics, you can move on to the next step of confirming they accept your insurance or by making an appointment for a consultation.
During your first visit at Cotton Orthotic and Prosthetic Associates, your prosthetist will gather some information about your medical history, find out your activity level and lifestyle goals, and answer all your questions about what to expect when transitioning to a life using a prosthetic leg. We can also provide you with important resources that will support your education and rehabilitation.