Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics as Essential Healthcare Services

Mar 23, 2020 | Debbie Ayres

ABC has received numerous requests for information on whether orthotics, prosthetics and pedorthics would be considered an essential healthcare service. We believe that almost all healthcare professions contain both essential and non-essential elements. Orthotics, prosthetics and pedorthics are no different. 

ABC does believe that certain elements of orthotic, prosthetic and pedorthic care would be considered “essential healthcare services”. One example would be the provision of a custom cranial orthosis for an infant who is diagnosed with plagiocephaly. The orthotic treatment of this diagnosis is time sensitive. An 8-month old in need of an orthosis cannot simply be put off for three or four months since that will adversely affect their treatment outcome. Other examples include treating acute clinical situations like unstable fractures or post-op patients. Patients in need of prosthetic care are also uniquely vulnerable to disruptions in services being provided. These patients rely on their prosthesis to perform activities of daily living and to maintain mobility. ABC’s perspective is that continuing to provide those time sensitive treatment modalities would be considered essential.

All credential holders must understand that ABC does not have any jurisdiction over local and state mandated directives. If for example, your city issues an order that all non-essential businesses (including outpatient clinical businesses) must close their doors, you would need to either comply and stop seeing patients or obtain a waiver of some type to allow you to continue seeing patients. Your site must comply with the law.

ABC does support the continuation of your practice to provide time sensitive “essential” care. All healthcare providers must assure that they have taken all necessary steps to protect their staff and any patients with whom they come into contact. This includes having policies that address how you will limit contact between staff and patients/families to only essential members of your clinical team. We hope this assists practices and individual providers in making the appropriate decision about continuing to see patients. Please be advised that this is ABC’s perspective. Your local or state authorities have the definitive jurisdiction over what is an essential healthcare service.

Please click to view  ABC's Statement on Telehealth in Orthotics and Prosthetics.

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