Study touts benefits of orthotics, prosthetics - (Star Tribune via NewsPoints Desk)

  • According to research commissioned by the Amputee Coalition, Medicare and private insurers often pay more over the long term when they deny amputees replacement limbs, spinal orthotics and hip, knee and ankle orthotics, reported the Star Tribune.
  • The study found that Medicare saved about 10 percent, or nearly $3000 in lower overall costs, for those receiving lower leg prostheses than for those who did not, with much of the savings were realized by patients avoiding hospitalizations and new injuries.
  • The research encompassed nearly 42 000 sets of Medicare beneficiaries with claims from 2007 through 2010.
  • According to the former director of the Office of Research at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Allen Dobson, who conducted the study, devices might have a high initial cost, but they also encourage higher rates of physical therapy and rehabilitation.
  • Overall, the study found that the full-care group's care cost an average of $27 007, while the lesser-care group's cost $29 927.
  • Thomas Kirk, president of the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association, said "this is a clear win for patients and a win for taxpayers. Not only do patients who get full orthotic and prosthetic treatment benefit the most, but it also ends up costing taxpayers less in most cases."

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