by Neal Lebar (President of ICS Shoes)
We received a call from a woman who was looking for a Free pair of Diabetic Shoe for her father. She asked what was involved in getting diabetic shoes that are paid for by Medicare. Although our company is Not a Medicare provider and cannot bill Medicare for shoes provided to patient's, we were happy to explain the process. In a nutshell, here are the steps to receiving Free Diabetic Shoes for Medicare recipients:
- Find a Medicare Provider in your area that provides Diabetic Shoes. We suggest that you contact Medicare to determine what companies in your area are qualified to provide Diabetic Shoes.
- In order for the patient to qualify, the patient must have Diabetes, Medicare Insurance, and the Medical Provider company must determine that there is a Medical Necessity. The Medical Provider must communicate with the patient's Doctor to determine if they meet the Medical Necessity requirements. It's not just enough for the patient to have diabetes, they must have a qualified medical reason why they need the shoes. Some of the ailments include: neuropathy, history of foot ulcers, and other foot ailments. The Doctor must sign off that the patient has a documented history of qualified foot ailments that the diabetic shoes will address.
- If the patient qualifies for diabetic shoes, they can receive one pair of qualified Diabetic Shoes, and three pairs of prefabricated inserts or two pairs of custom inserts (determined by the Medicare Provider), per calendar year.
- The Medicare Provider, has to first visit with the patient (in person) and examine their feet. They document the Medical Necessity, provide a thorough examination, and measurement of the patient's feet.
- Once the feet are measured, the Medical Provider then presents the shoe options to the patient and they select a style of shoe. Most Medical Provider companies typically provide shoes from one or two manufacturers. The options are limited to the shoes that they provide. The patient then selects the shoe from the options presented..
- The Medical Provider then orders the shoes that were chosen. In addition, the Medical Provider will also order the prefabricated or custom inserts. Once the shoes and inserts arrive, the Medical Provider then meets with the patient again and fits them with the shoe that was ordered (including the inserts). If everything fits properly, the patient signs off on the documentation and the Medical Provider company then bills Medicare. There is typically no charge to the patient depending upon the Medicare insurance policy that they have.
- If the shoes do not fit, the Medicare Provider orders a different style/size/width. Once those shoes arrive, the Provider once again visits with the patient to fit the shoes and inserts and goes through the process again.
As you can see, it can be a daunting task to receive Diabetic Shoes that are paid for by Medicare. If you're satisfied with the options available, you can receive one pair of Diabetic Shoes and appropriate Inserts, once per calendar year.
...When we were finished going through the process to receive free Diabetic Shoes, the woman asked, "can I just buy them from your company?" Our answer was, absolutely! Over the next 30 minutes, our Customer Care Specialist worked with the woman and her father to get the proper measurements of his feet. Our Specialist asked several questions regarding the condition of his feet and if he had any issues we needed to address. Since ICS Shoes represents all of the major diabetic shoe manufacturers, the Specialist was able to provide them with several of the best options available. They then chose the style of shoe they preferred. The shoes and inserts were delivered directly to the patient in just a few days. In this situation, the shoes fit perfectly, and they were very happy. However, if the shoe did not fit, our process would have been to find out why it did not fit and exchange it for another shoe. ICS would have paid the shipping for the shoes that were returned and the shoe that was exchanged. If the price of the exchanged shoe was different from the original order, ICS would either charge for the difference or credit the customer.
Ordering Diabetic Shoes on-line can be a difficult process since there are hundreds of options to choose from. With so many options available it's very difficult to decide which is the best solution. It sure helps to have a Specialist to consult with, who understands the patient, their conditions, and the perfect shoes to match their needs.