At SoleScience, we are a team of Canadian Certified Pedorthists (C Ped (C)s). We are experts in foot and lower limb assessment, as well as the design, manufacture and modification of custom foot orthotics and orthopedic footwear. A common question we hear from our SoleScience patients is about why we can’t provide our patients with a prescription for their custom foot orthotics. As Pedorthists, we embrace close professional relationships and collaboration with family physicians, surgeons and other specialized doctors to provide our patients with the prescriptions required. Our expert network can also formulate diagnoses and provide specialist referrals (i.e. Orthopaedic Surgeon) for our patients. Furthermore, all major insurance providers require that a prescription come from a medical doctor, surgeon or other specialist for coverage.
Why Does an Orthotics Prescription Need to Come from a Physician?
There are several reasons that a prescription needs to be written by a physician. Two of the more important reasons include “scope of practice” and ”conflict of interest.”
A Pedorthist’s scope of practice does not include the ability to prescribe orthotics, compression stockings, bracing or any other piece of medical equipment, nor does it allow us to formally provide a patient with a diagnosis of a medical condition, disease or pathology. While we are experts in the foot and lower limb with extensive knowledge of all of the pathologies that we treat, there are more elements to diagnosing a medical condition than our assessment covers. While we do work closely with our referring physicians, offering our expert opinions on each unique patient case, we leave it to the doctors to diagnose each condition.
Another important reason that Pedorthists do not write prescriptions is to avoid potential conflicts of interest.
A good example of another health-related provider-prescriber relationship is the pharmacist-physician relationship. You see your doctor and they decide that you need a specific medication. They provide you with a prescription and you as the patient choose which pharmacy to fill your prescription at. This reduces the conflict of interest between the fee differences at pharmacies. It also provides top-notch patient care, as your pharmacist knows best the interactions between medications you may have been prescribed by different doctors. Similarly, your Pedorthist will best know how to alter your orthotics or treatment plan to suit your needs based on your symptoms, occupation, activities and footwear.
Do I have to have a prescription before I see my Pedorthist?
No! While you will need a prescription for your insurance coverage, you can see your Pedorthist for an assessment before you visit your family physician for the prescription. Your Pedorthist will provide a comprehensive assessment, including their impression of what might be causing your pain, and send a request to your family doctor for a prescription on your behalf. From there, we recommend contacting your doctor’s office to arrange an appointment to pick up the prescription; you will need the original copy for your insurance claim.
We strive to provide our patients with the best possible care at every appointment. That includes fostering a close relationship with our referring physicians. Your SoleScience Pedorthist will always provide you and your physician with assessment reports, progress reports and any other communications that might be needed to provide you with a complete, comprehensive treatment plan.
More questions? Call us anytime at 1-844-337-7653!