Medicare Reverses The Height Requirement For AFO Devices

Doug Richie Jr. DPM FACFAS
2/25/13 | 2481 reads | 0 comments
Thankfully, clear minds have prevailed. Medicare has rescinded its recent policy that would have required ankle foot orthotic (AFO) devices to reach the head of the fibula. Practitioners can still prescribe prefabricated and custom AFOs that extend above the ankle joint without a height requirement. The new bulletin from Medicare reads as follows: “DME MAC Jurisdiction C News Read More.

New Medicare AFO Requirements: Making The Best Out Of A Bad Ruling

Doug Richie Jr. DPM FACFAS
1/24/13 | 3237 reads | 0 comments
Medicare has mandated new height requirements for ankle-foot orthoses (AFO) in a policy statement issued in July 2012. All practitioners must now dispense ankle-foot orthoses that reach a height within 4 cm of the head of the fibula. As a clinician who uses AFO devices regularly, I find this mandate challenging. As an owner of an AFO company, I view this challenge as a bewildering nightmare. Medicare instituted these new requirements without any opportunity for public comment or discussion. The language states: Read More.

Do I Need A New Degree?

Doug Richie Jr. DPM FACFAS
12/31/12 | 3721 reads | 5 comments
After reading a recent blog by fellow blogger, Ron Raducanu, DPM, FACFAS, in which he gave an honest and candid view of his career and professional degree (see http://tinyurl.com/bucdnaq), I found the comments on the blog rather astounding. It is apparent that a few of our colleagues are currently disillusioned with their career choice. They feel that a simple change of professional title will suddenly make them successful and happy. Read More.

Dispelling The Myths And Misconceptions About Hallux Rigidus

Doug Richie Jr. DPM FACFAS
11/29/12 | 2951 reads | 1 comments
I recently read a flurry of postings on another podiatric Web site giving advice on a complication from implant arthroplasty of the first metatarsophalangeal joint (MPJ) in a patient with hallux rigidus. I was amazed by the propagation of myths regarding hallux rigidus, metatarsus primus elevatus and the selection of surgical procedures to treat this disorder. Read More.

Who Is Fact Checking The Podiatric Profession?

Doug Richie Jr. DPM FACFAS
9/27/12 | 5037 reads | 2 comments
With the Presidential Election in less than 60 days, the current tightly contested race has led the candidates to a repetitive and almost desperate distortion of the truth in their speeches. The candidates often blatantly manipulate statistics, previous events and specific responsibility for negative events. I am grateful for the fact checkers in the media and non-partisan organizations that now quickly clarify serious errors or misrepresentations during political campaigns. This begs a question: Who are the fact checkers in the podiatric profession? Read More.

Why Minimalist Shoes Are A Boon For My Practice

Doug Richie Jr. DPM FACFAS
7/26/12 | 4852 reads | 1 comments
I am fascinated by the postings on this Web site in which colleagues argue about the merits of barefoot running as well as the superiority of minimalist shoes over traditional running shoes. I have been one of many who have challenged the barefoot/minimalist advocates but now I wonder why I should go through any effort at all. The fact is that my own clinical practice has blossomed with new patients presenting with injuries directly attributed to this new type of footwear. Read More.

Still Looking For Documentation That AFOs Effectively Prevent Falls

Doug Richie Jr. DPM FACFAS
6/25/12 | 3297 reads | 5 comments
I am finalizing an upcoming cover story for Podiatry Today’s September issue titled, “Fall Prevention In The Elderly: Can Podiatric Physicians Have An Impact?” After searching the electronic databases, PubMed, Medline, Proquest, CINAHL and Cochrane Controlled Trials, I was astounded to see that more than 5,000 articles have been published that are relevant to the subject of fall prevention. Read More.

Encouraging Signs Of Interest In AFO Therapy At A Podiatric Medical School

Doug Richie Jr. DPM FACFAS
5/24/12 | 2961 reads | 0 comments
This past week was a rewarding time for me in terms of medical education. First, I had the pleasure of giving a lecture to the second-year class of podiatric medical students at the Western University of Health Sciences. Additionally, a third-year resident in family medicine from a nearby teaching hospital finished a two-week rotation in my office. Finally, I had a second-year resident from our Podiatry Surgical Residency (PSR-36) Program scrub three surgeries with me. Read More.

Can Foot Orthotics Relieve The Pain Of Hallux Rigidus?

Doug Richie Jr. DPM FACFAS
4/25/12 | 12662 reads | 2 comments
I am always interested in theories and advice my colleagues post on the Internet regarding the use of custom foot orthoses to treat common pathologies. It is amazing to see the divergence of opinion regarding selection of materials, casting technique and prescription criteria to treat any single condition. Leading the list of pathologies that has the least agreement for orthotic therapy is hallux rigidus. Read More.