By Emily Delzell, Senior Editor
A common theme among many of the 17 profiles of companies featured in the 2016 issue of the Lower Extremity Review Resource Guide is the changes driven by shrinking Medicare reimbursements and growing possibilities for audits. In response, companies that manufacture or distribute therapeutic devices, materials, or technology for the lower extremity are making adaptations to thrive in a competitive environment while helping their customers continue to provide the best patient care possible.
Some companies have ended manufacturing of reimbursement-challenged products to focus on refining other devices and services. This sharper focus results in enhanced product quality and customer experiences while clearing some of the competition for those companies that continue to make devices such as custom-molded shoes.
Other companies are justifying the cost of their products and services—reimbursable or not— by upgrading their ordering systems and other technological capabilities, providing superior customer service, and emphasizing attractive designs and high-quality materials to improve patient compliance.
Improved compliance means improved clinical outcomes, another area of emphasis in the changing landscape of healthcare coverage, which is shifting rapidly from simply prescribing a service or product to the ultimate clinical value of its application. Proactive companies are looking to the future with this in mind.
With a presidential election unfolding, and the possibility of even more changes to the healthcare system and medical care coverage looming, lower extremity companies and practitioners will need to remain nimble. Hopefully, patients will be the winners, receiving better care and better devices.