Choosing a Provider

 

The information below is designed to aid in the decision of choosing an orthotic provider:

 

  • Visit a certified professional in a clinic that MAKES orthotics, not one that simply SELLS orthotics. This eliminates the majority of providers in central Ontario. There is a potential disconnect when the individual assessing the patient has never made an orthotic and the lab technician crafting the orthotic has no assessment experience. Ortho-Care’s lab is on site at our assessment clinic.
  • Ask the provider what they charge for an assessment. “No obligation” (free) assessments are available at some facilities. Ortho-Care does not charge for assessments.
  • Ask the clinic about the raw materials they use to craft the orthotics, as materials vary in cost and effectiveness. Ortho-Care has always selected raw materials based on optimizing performance rather than reducing costs.
  • Ask how long it will take to complete the orthotics. Many mass production labs out of province can turn around orthotics for Ontario providers in less than 10 days, so it is unreasonable to wait 4 to 6 weeks for custom orthotics to be manufactured. Ortho-Care Precision Orthotics are ready in 3-4 days.
  • Ask the provider how success will be determined. Preferably, the provider will measure symptom relief against targeted results within a structured follow-up program. A weak answer to this question is, “Our patients contact us if they have concerns”. Ortho-Care has designed custom software to effectively track and optimize symptom relief when following up with patients.
  • Ask the provider about subsequent adjustments to orthotics. Specifically:
    • What is the likelihood that you will require an adjustment?
    • What do they charge for adjustments?
    • Are adjustments generally done while you wait?
    Because custom-made orthotics are not an exact science, the ability to efficiently adjust and test the orthotics on site is extremely important. While some orthotic adjustments require a few days in the lab, most can be done in 5 to 10 minutes if there is a lab on site. This allows for fine tuning at the time of dispensing. However, some providers do not have an on-site lab, making a simple 5 minute adjustment a much more complicated affair. This may necessitate shipping costs and extra patient visits, which sometimes translates into additional fees for the patient. Ortho-Care has a fully functional lab on-site, which provides numerous benefits for the patient:
    • Ortho-Care’s customized patient follow-up program indicates that our adjustment rate is 1 in 7. Subsequently, there is an 86% chance that adjustments will not be necessary.
    • Ortho-Care does not charge for adjustments.
    • 95% of adjustments are done in our on-site lab while the patient waits. Therefore the orthotics can be tested for fit and comfort before the patient leaves, eliminating the need for extra dispensing visits.
  • Ask the provider if you need to buy bigger shoes to accommodate the orthotics. It is not advisable to wear an ill-fitting shoe to accommodate a bulky orthotic. Nor is it advisable to use a corrective device part-time – for example: only wearing them during high impact athletic activities. Ortho-Care incorporates patient fashion preference and lifestyle requirements when crafting custom orthotics, hopefully allowing the orthotic to be worn on a full-time basis.
  • Ask the provider what happens if you are unsatisfied with your new orthotics. Although some providers advertise a warranty that simply equates to free adjustments, an optimal response is, “We will provide a full refund and recommend another professional”.