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Question about the way orthotics are fitting.

Posted by Paula G. on 5/04/01 at hrmin (046642)

I have a question that the doctor I was seeing could not deal with, nor the company that made my orthotics. I have read messages on here when some people have purchased orthotics there is like a warranty period or breaking in period where they can get the orthotics adjusted somehow?
Is this correct? The company that made mine refuses to tell me anything. They tell me to ask my doctor. I called them because my doctor did not help me. I told him two weeks after I began using the orthotics that they hurt my left foot and make it bend outward. He just sat there. He said nothing. He did not even look at my foot or the device.
Please, is there anything anyone can tell me.

Re: Question about the way orthotics are fitting.

Valerie S on 5/04/01 at hrmin (046650)

Hi Paula.

I have sent my orthotics back for adjustments. Twice. I am waiting for them to come back right now...

I think the warranty and the adjustment period is set up by the lab, but I am not sure of the specifics. I don't have any inside information. I do know that the orthotic lab my pod works with had a 90 day time frame for adjustments.

I guess I would try asking the doctor's office directly again if there is any warranty on the orthotics. YOu paid good money for them (even if they were covered by insurance, you paid...), and deserve satisfaction.

Good luck... I hope you can get some answers.
Val.

Re: Question about the way orthotics are fitting.

Richard, C.Ped on 5/05/01 at 07:22 (046671)

Hi Paula,
Warranties, guarantees, and adjustment periods are usually up to the provider as to what they offer. I personally think that the service should not stop when the orthosis is given to the patient. I encourage people to let me know if something does not seem right.

I have to say that there are limits to the number of adjustments that should be done. This means that you do not want to adjust the so much that it defeats the purpose of having the orthosis in the first place.

It depends on the policy of the company that made them if there is a money back guarantee. I personally think that if it does not work for you, ask for your money back.
Richard

Re: I called the manufacturer...

Paula G. on 5/05/01 at 13:52 (046695)

That was why I called the manufacturer of the orthotics. He was awfully rude and said anything I wanted to know i would have to go through my doctor. Of course, when I went to the doctor after getting the orthotics I knew the one was not fitting properly. He just sat there looking at me when I asked...I really believe he did NOT know what to say. He never checked them.
The manufacturer was very upset that I had called them at all. I really believe the doctor does not know anything that is why I am asking here.

Re: I called the manufacturer...

Nancy N on 5/05/01 at 20:23 (046730)

Paula--

The more I read about your doctor, the more important I think it is that you find a new one. To just sit there and look at you and not even say anything when you said there was a problem??? That sounds like an appropriate response for someone who doesn't have the slightest idea what he's talking about (for instance, if you said that to any of the non-PF people I know--though even then, I think they'd be smart enough to say 'Isn't there anything they can do?')

I wonder if you might have any recourse through your insurance company? I'm assuming that they paid for them, of course, so if they didn't, then that idea won't work. I've found that, if I need to, making a nuisance of myself often gets results just because they're so tired of hearing from me. I only do it as a last resort, but you might want to keep it in mind if you're not getting anywhere. Are there any other doctors in your current doc's practice? You might be able to consult with one of them. Beyond that, I'd seriously suggest finding someone else to evaluate the orthotics, and see if there's anything they can do for you.

I'd especially be in touch with the insurance company if you think you might get another pair from another doctor--they may not cover a second pair, unless you make it quite clear that the first doctor sold you crap. They still might not, but at least you've tried.

I am getting to the point now, where orthotics are concerned, where I don't trust anyone who doesn't make them themselves. That way, you only have one person to deal with, and you can ask very specific questions about how things are made, and what you need to do if you need an adjustment.

Re: I called the manufacturer...get a new doc

bg cped on 5/06/01 at 08:47 (046759)

Get a new doc or find a good Pedorthist. Most have lab and equipment to adjust them in 5 minutes. I am not covering the Lab but there are a few main reasons they were not willing to help. 1, Liability, they dont want to expose themselves by giving what could be construed as med advice. 2, They dont want to p.o. the Doc. If they give you info that is counter to what he said, or if you misunderstand it and go to the Doc with it, can mean big trouble for them.

All of the Doc I deal with are pretty cool and have no problem listening to advice, They are foot surgeons first, not orthotic makers. BUT some Docs can get VERY testy when or if a Lab or other person other than them makes any suggestions.

That is why most Labs wont give much help. One very good Lab I use once in a while made a recomendation for a Doc to see in her home state, she could not fly back to me for any adjustmenats. The girl that gave her a Doc name to help, got a royal chew out by managment, I mean ROYAL. she was just doing me a favor and trying to help a patient that already had one of their orthotics.

Re: I called the manufacturer...

Paula G. on 5/07/01 at 07:42 (046860)

This was why I was asking opinions. Maybe I did not state my question right. The doctor refused to do anything, then he said he could not help me any more.....I had the orthotics about one month when this happened. The manufacturer refused to help me. No, my insurance was refusing payment. That was what made me so mad. They are useless things.

Re: I called the manufacturer...

Nancy N on 5/07/01 at 09:48 (046877)

Paula--

How forceful have you been with this doc? It is definitely time to ditch him, but I wonder if you could make a real nuisance of yourself and try to get some of the money back. It may be a longshot--I don't know if it would be worth the effort or not.

Keep looking until you find yourself a doctor who cares and will do everything humanly possible to help you. Get rid of this current guy ASAP. Let us know how you do.

Re: Question about the way orthotics are fitting.

Donna SL on 5/07/01 at 12:54 (046914)

Paula,

I get so angry when I hear things like this it makes me want to scream. I'm not clear if your insurance paid for them, or you did out of pocket, or what you paid for them. But regardless I would march the orthotics back into the pod, and demand your money back. This doctor is treating you horrendously. Tell him you will report him to the American Podaiatry Association, also the one in his state, and any other consumer boards you can think of. Also tell him if you receive any injuries from them, he'll be hearing from your lawyer.

The cost on orthotics from the lab to the doctor are very low. The pods then mark then up hundreds of dollars, which they justify is for adjusments, gait evaluation, etc. He doesn't seem to have done any of this. The pods I've come across not only charge hundreds of dollars for the device, they also additionally charge for adjustments, and office vistits which I feel is wrong. The actual lab cost of that piece of plastic is around $50.00. Since he didn't do anything for you other than order that piece of junk that's not working for you, he doesn't deserve any additional monies that he collected. Again, I don't know what you paid for them, but I'm sure it is no where what he paid for them. I have catalogs from some labs where the price from the lab is as low as $36.00, and the highest is in the $90.00 range. That includes the cast correction, and the orthotic device. On top of that most labs offer 6 months of free adjustments to the doctor.

A pedorthist total cost to the consumer are usually not that high, and the orthotics are usually made personally by them, and some put a lot of time and care into the device. Many do gait analysis also. Their cost also ususualy includes necessary office visits and adjustments, so I think the money they receive is well deserved.

I don't think a practitioner deserves to charge hundreds of dollars for a device that he paid on the average of around $50.00 (if that) when they have done nothing to justify the cost. What service did he provide for you other than order $1.00 worth of plastic? He doesn't seem concerned if they are correcting your gait, not causing injury, and your general welfare. I'm sure there are plenty of good practioners out there that provide a good service, and can justify their cost, but this person doesn't seem to be one of them. I would not have any further dealings with him, other than demanding your money back.

Sorry if this post sounds a little aggressive, but I'm getting sick of people getting ripped-off by these devices.

Donna

Re: Question about the way orthotics are fitting.

Nancy N on 5/07/01 at 14:25 (046919)

Donna--

Even if your post is 'aggressive,' I think it is justifiably so. If you bought a new TV for $300, got it home, and it didn't work, you could take it back to the store for a refund or replacement. But docs don't seem to want to let you do that with orthotics. Maybe they've been spoiled by having the insurance companies pay (and therefore figure it doesn't matter to the patient), or maybe they're just out for cash, but either way, it's a rotten way to do business. I know not all docs are like that, so I'm really hoping that Paula is able to find one of them in her area.

I think your ideas about reporting the doc are good, too. Otherwise, he's likely to provide the same non-service to others, at their and the insurance companies' expense. No wonder our medical fees are so high...

Re: Thanks Donna

Paula G. on 5/07/01 at 20:48 (046970)

Thank you Donna. I love your posting! I agree with you 100%. Why do we continually have to pay for dissatisfaction. No, the doctor did nothing to help me. That was why I called the manufacturer. I am seeing what my insurance will do.
I am not slamming the good doctors either. There are good ones out there. A lot of them.
I wonder if I should mail them back to the doctor that way I don't have them, I can't get charged for what I don't have? That makes me smile....

Re: Paula Send them back !!!

Donna SL on 5/08/01 at 01:50 (046993)

Yes Paula -- send them back in the mail. Did you pay for them already, or were they submitted to the insurance company? If it is an insurance claim, tell the insurance company what you did, or are doing, and document it. It's fraudulant for the pod to keep the money. Make sure that you send them through a company like UPS, or Fedex so you can track it, and get a signiture for who signed for them. Document everything.

I did that once. Around a year ago after my feet were screwed up from my prior pair of orthotics, and before I found my new pod, I had a pair made from this nut case. She made an orthotic for me that pushed my feet out so much that I almost literally fell over on my ankles. She then rushed me out of the office, and just said take them home, and try them later, and I stupidly did. If that happened today, I'd throw them at her, and tell her to wear them. She didn't even want to watch me walk in them. She happened to call before my next appointment to change the time, and I told her they felt so awful, I wouldn't dare wear them. She just muttered a couple of uh ha's, and said she would call me back later to talk, but she didn't.

I sent the crummy things back through UPS, with a letter, and never heard from her again. Almost a year later she tried to submit almost $600.00 for the returned orthotics to the insurance company. She was turned down, because my insurance company had paid for orthotics before, and only pay for them every three years, and they were requesting a letter of medical necessity. I reported her to the insurance company and told them I returned them close to a year ago. Of course she was never paid.

This woman had obtained a fellowship in biomechanics from a major podiatry school in CA, but was still an idiot in her profession. This is only one of several biomechanical twilight zone experiences I've had. Nobody would believe these stories unless they experienced something similar like you did.

Donna

Re: Question about the way orthotics are fitting.

Donna SL on 5/08/01 at 05:39 (047004)

Hi Nancy,

You're right. We would rant,and rave if we took a TV home, and it didn't work, and would march it right back to the store. We would have no problem opening up our mouth if the store refused to take it back, or exchange it. There are better consumer laws against retailers than for the medical profession. I think we are a little too passive and accepting when it comes to unsatisfactory orthotics, and substandard medical care in general. Even if insurance companies pay, it's sometimes once every so often, and the bad practitioner doesn't dererve the fee anyway.

Hopefully we will all get more demanding, and stop putting up with this treatment, and remind ourselves that we hired these people to do a job properly. Bad pods give the profession a bad reputation. I've read on-line chats in podiatry sites, that said they are aware of these bad practices, and are concerned that if they don't get their act together, some competitors will be offering better services in shopping malls.

Donna

Re: For Donna SL...

Paula G. on 5/09/01 at hrmin (047126)

Thanks Donna. Yes, your story sounds just like mine! The orthotics did something wrong with my foot and I was having horrible ankle pain and such when wearing them.
I am going to put together a letter and send the orthotics back to the podiatrist. I will send registered mail so I have proof he received them.
I did not know but he is not board certified in my state so the insurance is refusing payment. He never told me.....But it is all on appeal.
Like I said, I don't think he knows what to do. The insurance company told me they could try to get me in for another visit with him to see about adjustments and I said no way! This guy said he could 'no longer be of any assistance to me'...I refuse to go back. I got the things late February early March...I didn't wear them 3 weeks.

Re: Question about the way orthotics are fitting.

Valerie S on 5/04/01 at hrmin (046650)

Hi Paula.

I have sent my orthotics back for adjustments. Twice. I am waiting for them to come back right now...

I think the warranty and the adjustment period is set up by the lab, but I am not sure of the specifics. I don't have any inside information. I do know that the orthotic lab my pod works with had a 90 day time frame for adjustments.

I guess I would try asking the doctor's office directly again if there is any warranty on the orthotics. YOu paid good money for them (even if they were covered by insurance, you paid...), and deserve satisfaction.

Good luck... I hope you can get some answers.
Val.

Re: Question about the way orthotics are fitting.

Richard, C.Ped on 5/05/01 at 07:22 (046671)

Hi Paula,
Warranties, guarantees, and adjustment periods are usually up to the provider as to what they offer. I personally think that the service should not stop when the orthosis is given to the patient. I encourage people to let me know if something does not seem right.

I have to say that there are limits to the number of adjustments that should be done. This means that you do not want to adjust the so much that it defeats the purpose of having the orthosis in the first place.

It depends on the policy of the company that made them if there is a money back guarantee. I personally think that if it does not work for you, ask for your money back.
Richard

Re: I called the manufacturer...

Paula G. on 5/05/01 at 13:52 (046695)

That was why I called the manufacturer of the orthotics. He was awfully rude and said anything I wanted to know i would have to go through my doctor. Of course, when I went to the doctor after getting the orthotics I knew the one was not fitting properly. He just sat there looking at me when I asked...I really believe he did NOT know what to say. He never checked them.
The manufacturer was very upset that I had called them at all. I really believe the doctor does not know anything that is why I am asking here.

Re: I called the manufacturer...

Nancy N on 5/05/01 at 20:23 (046730)

Paula--

The more I read about your doctor, the more important I think it is that you find a new one. To just sit there and look at you and not even say anything when you said there was a problem??? That sounds like an appropriate response for someone who doesn't have the slightest idea what he's talking about (for instance, if you said that to any of the non-PF people I know--though even then, I think they'd be smart enough to say 'Isn't there anything they can do?')

I wonder if you might have any recourse through your insurance company? I'm assuming that they paid for them, of course, so if they didn't, then that idea won't work. I've found that, if I need to, making a nuisance of myself often gets results just because they're so tired of hearing from me. I only do it as a last resort, but you might want to keep it in mind if you're not getting anywhere. Are there any other doctors in your current doc's practice? You might be able to consult with one of them. Beyond that, I'd seriously suggest finding someone else to evaluate the orthotics, and see if there's anything they can do for you.

I'd especially be in touch with the insurance company if you think you might get another pair from another doctor--they may not cover a second pair, unless you make it quite clear that the first doctor sold you crap. They still might not, but at least you've tried.

I am getting to the point now, where orthotics are concerned, where I don't trust anyone who doesn't make them themselves. That way, you only have one person to deal with, and you can ask very specific questions about how things are made, and what you need to do if you need an adjustment.

Re: I called the manufacturer...get a new doc

bg cped on 5/06/01 at 08:47 (046759)

Get a new doc or find a good Pedorthist. Most have lab and equipment to adjust them in 5 minutes. I am not covering the Lab but there are a few main reasons they were not willing to help. 1, Liability, they dont want to expose themselves by giving what could be construed as med advice. 2, They dont want to p.o. the Doc. If they give you info that is counter to what he said, or if you misunderstand it and go to the Doc with it, can mean big trouble for them.

All of the Doc I deal with are pretty cool and have no problem listening to advice, They are foot surgeons first, not orthotic makers. BUT some Docs can get VERY testy when or if a Lab or other person other than them makes any suggestions.

That is why most Labs wont give much help. One very good Lab I use once in a while made a recomendation for a Doc to see in her home state, she could not fly back to me for any adjustmenats. The girl that gave her a Doc name to help, got a royal chew out by managment, I mean ROYAL. she was just doing me a favor and trying to help a patient that already had one of their orthotics.

Re: I called the manufacturer...

Paula G. on 5/07/01 at 07:42 (046860)

This was why I was asking opinions. Maybe I did not state my question right. The doctor refused to do anything, then he said he could not help me any more.....I had the orthotics about one month when this happened. The manufacturer refused to help me. No, my insurance was refusing payment. That was what made me so mad. They are useless things.

Re: I called the manufacturer...

Nancy N on 5/07/01 at 09:48 (046877)

Paula--

How forceful have you been with this doc? It is definitely time to ditch him, but I wonder if you could make a real nuisance of yourself and try to get some of the money back. It may be a longshot--I don't know if it would be worth the effort or not.

Keep looking until you find yourself a doctor who cares and will do everything humanly possible to help you. Get rid of this current guy ASAP. Let us know how you do.

Re: Question about the way orthotics are fitting.

Donna SL on 5/07/01 at 12:54 (046914)

Paula,

I get so angry when I hear things like this it makes me want to scream. I'm not clear if your insurance paid for them, or you did out of pocket, or what you paid for them. But regardless I would march the orthotics back into the pod, and demand your money back. This doctor is treating you horrendously. Tell him you will report him to the American Podaiatry Association, also the one in his state, and any other consumer boards you can think of. Also tell him if you receive any injuries from them, he'll be hearing from your lawyer.

The cost on orthotics from the lab to the doctor are very low. The pods then mark then up hundreds of dollars, which they justify is for adjusments, gait evaluation, etc. He doesn't seem to have done any of this. The pods I've come across not only charge hundreds of dollars for the device, they also additionally charge for adjustments, and office vistits which I feel is wrong. The actual lab cost of that piece of plastic is around $50.00. Since he didn't do anything for you other than order that piece of junk that's not working for you, he doesn't deserve any additional monies that he collected. Again, I don't know what you paid for them, but I'm sure it is no where what he paid for them. I have catalogs from some labs where the price from the lab is as low as $36.00, and the highest is in the $90.00 range. That includes the cast correction, and the orthotic device. On top of that most labs offer 6 months of free adjustments to the doctor.

A pedorthist total cost to the consumer are usually not that high, and the orthotics are usually made personally by them, and some put a lot of time and care into the device. Many do gait analysis also. Their cost also ususualy includes necessary office visits and adjustments, so I think the money they receive is well deserved.

I don't think a practitioner deserves to charge hundreds of dollars for a device that he paid on the average of around $50.00 (if that) when they have done nothing to justify the cost. What service did he provide for you other than order $1.00 worth of plastic? He doesn't seem concerned if they are correcting your gait, not causing injury, and your general welfare. I'm sure there are plenty of good practioners out there that provide a good service, and can justify their cost, but this person doesn't seem to be one of them. I would not have any further dealings with him, other than demanding your money back.

Sorry if this post sounds a little aggressive, but I'm getting sick of people getting ripped-off by these devices.

Donna

Re: Question about the way orthotics are fitting.

Nancy N on 5/07/01 at 14:25 (046919)

Donna--

Even if your post is 'aggressive,' I think it is justifiably so. If you bought a new TV for $300, got it home, and it didn't work, you could take it back to the store for a refund or replacement. But docs don't seem to want to let you do that with orthotics. Maybe they've been spoiled by having the insurance companies pay (and therefore figure it doesn't matter to the patient), or maybe they're just out for cash, but either way, it's a rotten way to do business. I know not all docs are like that, so I'm really hoping that Paula is able to find one of them in her area.

I think your ideas about reporting the doc are good, too. Otherwise, he's likely to provide the same non-service to others, at their and the insurance companies' expense. No wonder our medical fees are so high...

Re: Thanks Donna

Paula G. on 5/07/01 at 20:48 (046970)

Thank you Donna. I love your posting! I agree with you 100%. Why do we continually have to pay for dissatisfaction. No, the doctor did nothing to help me. That was why I called the manufacturer. I am seeing what my insurance will do.
I am not slamming the good doctors either. There are good ones out there. A lot of them.
I wonder if I should mail them back to the doctor that way I don't have them, I can't get charged for what I don't have? That makes me smile....

Re: Paula Send them back !!!

Donna SL on 5/08/01 at 01:50 (046993)

Yes Paula -- send them back in the mail. Did you pay for them already, or were they submitted to the insurance company? If it is an insurance claim, tell the insurance company what you did, or are doing, and document it. It's fraudulant for the pod to keep the money. Make sure that you send them through a company like UPS, or Fedex so you can track it, and get a signiture for who signed for them. Document everything.

I did that once. Around a year ago after my feet were screwed up from my prior pair of orthotics, and before I found my new pod, I had a pair made from this nut case. She made an orthotic for me that pushed my feet out so much that I almost literally fell over on my ankles. She then rushed me out of the office, and just said take them home, and try them later, and I stupidly did. If that happened today, I'd throw them at her, and tell her to wear them. She didn't even want to watch me walk in them. She happened to call before my next appointment to change the time, and I told her they felt so awful, I wouldn't dare wear them. She just muttered a couple of uh ha's, and said she would call me back later to talk, but she didn't.

I sent the crummy things back through UPS, with a letter, and never heard from her again. Almost a year later she tried to submit almost $600.00 for the returned orthotics to the insurance company. She was turned down, because my insurance company had paid for orthotics before, and only pay for them every three years, and they were requesting a letter of medical necessity. I reported her to the insurance company and told them I returned them close to a year ago. Of course she was never paid.

This woman had obtained a fellowship in biomechanics from a major podiatry school in CA, but was still an idiot in her profession. This is only one of several biomechanical twilight zone experiences I've had. Nobody would believe these stories unless they experienced something similar like you did.

Donna

Re: Question about the way orthotics are fitting.

Donna SL on 5/08/01 at 05:39 (047004)

Hi Nancy,

You're right. We would rant,and rave if we took a TV home, and it didn't work, and would march it right back to the store. We would have no problem opening up our mouth if the store refused to take it back, or exchange it. There are better consumer laws against retailers than for the medical profession. I think we are a little too passive and accepting when it comes to unsatisfactory orthotics, and substandard medical care in general. Even if insurance companies pay, it's sometimes once every so often, and the bad practitioner doesn't dererve the fee anyway.

Hopefully we will all get more demanding, and stop putting up with this treatment, and remind ourselves that we hired these people to do a job properly. Bad pods give the profession a bad reputation. I've read on-line chats in podiatry sites, that said they are aware of these bad practices, and are concerned that if they don't get their act together, some competitors will be offering better services in shopping malls.

Donna

Re: For Donna SL...

Paula G. on 5/09/01 at hrmin (047126)

Thanks Donna. Yes, your story sounds just like mine! The orthotics did something wrong with my foot and I was having horrible ankle pain and such when wearing them.
I am going to put together a letter and send the orthotics back to the podiatrist. I will send registered mail so I have proof he received them.
I did not know but he is not board certified in my state so the insurance is refusing payment. He never told me.....But it is all on appeal.
Like I said, I don't think he knows what to do. The insurance company told me they could try to get me in for another visit with him to see about adjustments and I said no way! This guy said he could 'no longer be of any assistance to me'...I refuse to go back. I got the things late February early March...I didn't wear them 3 weeks.