Fw: US Politics: Competitive Bidding for Prosthetics
t-barr at t-barr.com
t-barr at t-barr.com
Thu Sep 19 06:27:45 PDT 2002
As a subscriber and periodic participant of both the AMP-L and the OANDP- L
listserves, I find it interesting that practitioners seem more willing to
speak their minds on the media used primarily for amputees than that of
the more often monitored listserve utilized by their fellow colleagues and
Michael Freeman really gets to the meat of the problem, lack of
affordability and greed.
Excessive markups of prosthetic components and supplies.
I am told that since practitioners cannot be properly reimbursed from the
current established L code structure for each O&P service performed to make
a reasonable profit, they must inflate certain areas to the maximum in
order to make up for other reimbursement levels for some schedule categories
that are not appropriate under the current system.
Manufactures can charge what ever the market can bear.
Certainly R& D factors should be properly equated into
manufacture/practitioner and consumer pricing but not for an indefinite
period of time which would preclude affordability to patients.
The practitioner is often and unfairly targeted as the culprit of greed when
he may not have a choice in charging excessive markups for some of the
components he uses in order to make a reasonable profit.
Perhaps the current L-code system requires an overhaul and re-evaluation to
gain fairness integrity and honesty back in the system.
My impression is what we are talking about here is excessive markups from
the cost of manufacturing to the sale to the provider, to the cost of
delivery of these services to third party payers.
Manufacturers and providers use interchangeably the words of consumer and
patient to fit there needs.
They sell services and products to "consumers", if they want to avoid
mantatory professional educational qualifications, regulation and price
fixing , but use "patients" to warrant costs justified by R&D, hi-tech
technology components and delivery of highly specialized health care
You can't have it both ways.Or can you!
Feel free to cc your comments to the O&P Listserve as well !
----- Original Message -----
From: "michael freeman" <michael at woodfreeman.com>
To: "Amputee Information Network" <amp-l at u.washington.edu>
Sent: Thursday, September 19, 2002 12:26 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: US Politics: Competitive Bidding for Prosthetics
> If there was only one lawyer in town they'd starve.
> I support amputation in or around the neck area....
> There are 3 parts to the 1974-78 consumer protection laws (federal)
> the worst is the doctrine of strict liability.
> It basically says,..." if you know of, or should have know of because of
> your professional standing in the industry, that through the products use
> misuse or abuse that it will cause injury to person or property, then the
> consumer must be notified of such in writing before the purchase other
> they are guilty of failure to warn, there is no defense and the government
> will be the lawyer against you....
> This does not instill in any manufacture or person the desire to venture
> into maybe's
> I know that in my case (used equipment) I am so hard on the stuff it
> early compared to others. If some of my old stuff were to be reused,
> well no way.
> We need to address the RAPE of the prices charged! I know from my own
> business that a 2.5 to 3.5 times material cost is needed to survive in the
> market place... BUT I don't support 5 to 7 times costs for any reason.
> Most alpha liners cost the CPs $250.00 (less lock). To sell them for
> $500.00 to $750.00 is in the ball park. But I know of several cases where
> the bill was over $1500.00 for a single liner, no services, no
> fitting. Also the cost that Alpha charges for the liner to the CP is out
> of line, even with R&D costs rolled in. Maximum cost is $50.00 to $65.00
> at 3x times that would be $150 to $165.00.
> I think the O&P industry needs to take a look at it's self and get in line
> with the real world and not try to make the JAG payment on each customer
> that comes in.
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