ABC and NCPA Establish Training Standards for Pharmacists Providing Therapeutic Shoes
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ABC and NCPA Establish Training Standards for Pharmacists Providing Therapeutic Shoes

The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics (ABC) has worked with the National Community Pharmacy Association (NCPA) to establish training standards for pharmacists providing therapeutic shoes to Medicare beneficiaries.  ABC recognizes that many different healthcare providers are engaged in delivering some aspect of DMEPOS items and services. Community pharmacies have a tradition of providing therapeutic shoes and inserts to their clients and are recognized by CMS as qualified providers.  NCPA and ABC have collaborated to ensure that any ABC accredited pharmacy providing therapeutic shoes and inserts not only has the appropriate setting to deliver these services, but has a pharmacist who is specifically trained in the provision of therapeutic footwear.

ABC evaluated the extensive and comprehensive educational background of pharmacists in making this decision. NCPA believes that pharmacists know that they are not adequately trained to treat patients that have complex foot issues and understand that they must refer these patients to a Certified Pedorthist or Certified Orthotist for care.

The ABC board has determined that any pharmacist that wishes to provide therapeutic shoes and inserts must have proof of attendance at an NCOPE-approved therapeutic shoe fitter course in addition to the license to practice in their state.  A manufacturer's representative in-service is not sufficient to meet this requirement.

"An important element of this collaboration will be in educating NCPA's members on the scope of practice and value of referring patients with complex issues to a Certified Pedorthist.  This will include basic information about the education, training and expertise of ABC Certified Pedorthists along with information on how to locate a C. Ped. in their area for referrals," says D. Deane Doty, Jr., CPO, and ABC President.

This collaborative approach will help ensure quality patient care and foster education of the pharmacists about the value of working with a C. Ped. as part of the diabetic healthcare team.  The ABC Board of Directors has authorized the provision of A5513's in pharmacies that qualify for therapeutic footwear facility accreditation. Licensed pharmacists must provide proof of completion of an NCOPE-approved therapeutic shoe fitter course in order to qualify.  These facilities are eligible to only bill for non-custom therapeutic shoes (A5500), non-custom therapeutic inserts (A5512) and custom molded therapeutic inserts (A5513). The scope of practice for therapeutic shoe fitters remains unchanged.

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