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custom Birkenstocks

Posted by Ed Davis, DPM on 7/24/01 at hrmin (054162)

Birkenstocks work well for a lot of people. They have a fairly decent amount of support and if the 'hills and valleys' in the Birkenstock footbed match one's feet fairly closely, they will be comfortable.

Benefoot orthotic laboratory, a few years ago, started offering a custom orthotic footbed, made to a cast or mold of one's feet and bonded to a Birkenstock. Basically, orthotic wearers who like their orthotics can have their positive casts sent to Benefoot to have the orthotic Birks made or can just get a new cast of their feet.

I practice in the northwest where Birks have always been very popular so this product has really taken off. Any podiatrist or pedhortist can contract with Benefoot to provide the service. I certainly encourage our panel podiatrists and pedhortist to look into this--it is a great way to increase patient compliance with orthotics.
Ed

Re: custom Birkenstocks

wendyn on 7/24/01 at 17:50 (054163)

I have the custom Birks - or rather I have A custom birk (the left one is being remad). I always wear the right one (yes I have a regular birk that looks the same on my left foot). I really like them!!!

Re: custom Birkenstocks

Nancy N on 7/24/01 at 20:30 (054174)

Ed--

Any idea what the cost is for these, and if insurance will cover it?

Re: custom Birkenstocks

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/25/01 at hrmin (054309)

Nancy-
There is a question that some colleagues have posed--Do the custom Birkenstocks qualify as a true custom orthotic. If so, any insurance plan that covers orthotics should cover them too. I need to remember to ask the Benefoot people more about this at our national convention in Chicago in a couple of weeks. My answer would be 'yes.'

The final cost is, in part, up to the provider of the service and I would say the range would be between $200 and $300. My fee is $225. The models, in their non-custom form are in the $150 range at the local Birk store, so I feel that an additional $75 is not unreasonable to go custom. I often tell patients to try out the non-custom ones first unless they have a problem that I know, ahead of time requires a custom device.

Most docs are providers for various insurance plans who basically set the fees. If an insurance plan covers orthotics and the custom Birks are indeed such, then the cost of the Birks would be whatever the contract fee is.
Ed

Re: custom Birkenstocks

Kathy on 7/30/01 at 09:51 (054791)

My pedorthist will take a removeable foot bed from a birk, heat and mold it to my cast for free if I buy the birks from her. If I buy the birks some place else the cost is 25.00. Check with your pedorthist. Good luck

Re: custom Birkenstocks

wendyn on 7/24/01 at 17:50 (054163)

I have the custom Birks - or rather I have A custom birk (the left one is being remad). I always wear the right one (yes I have a regular birk that looks the same on my left foot). I really like them!!!

Re: custom Birkenstocks

Nancy N on 7/24/01 at 20:30 (054174)

Ed--

Any idea what the cost is for these, and if insurance will cover it?

Re: custom Birkenstocks

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/25/01 at hrmin (054309)

Nancy-
There is a question that some colleagues have posed--Do the custom Birkenstocks qualify as a true custom orthotic. If so, any insurance plan that covers orthotics should cover them too. I need to remember to ask the Benefoot people more about this at our national convention in Chicago in a couple of weeks. My answer would be 'yes.'

The final cost is, in part, up to the provider of the service and I would say the range would be between $200 and $300. My fee is $225. The models, in their non-custom form are in the $150 range at the local Birk store, so I feel that an additional $75 is not unreasonable to go custom. I often tell patients to try out the non-custom ones first unless they have a problem that I know, ahead of time requires a custom device.

Most docs are providers for various insurance plans who basically set the fees. If an insurance plan covers orthotics and the custom Birks are indeed such, then the cost of the Birks would be whatever the contract fee is.
Ed

Re: custom Birkenstocks

Kathy on 7/30/01 at 09:51 (054791)

My pedorthist will take a removeable foot bed from a birk, heat and mold it to my cast for free if I buy the birks from her. If I buy the birks some place else the cost is 25.00. Check with your pedorthist. Good luck