The online marketplace is buzzing with websites where you can buy diabetic shoes at the click of a button. This may seem like a convenient option, but if you’re not careful you could miss a critical step: Getting your diabetic shoe fitting from a certified and Medicare-approved shoe fitter.
Many people are surprised to learn that feet can change size from one year to the next. While all diabetic shoe brands available on nocostshoes.com are Medicare approved, picking the right one for you may require some professional help.
Why do you need to get professionally fitted for your diabetic shoes?
There are a few reasons to involve a foot care professional in selecting your diabetic shoes.
- Medicare and insurance often require a professional fit. After all, no insurer wants to pay for shoes that hurt more than they help!
- Improperly fitting shoes can exaserbate foot problems. When you have diabetes, even the smallest blister can turn into a life-altering ulcer. The impact of this should not be underestimated.
- Shoe fittings are covered anyways, so why not? If you are eligible for coverage, Medicare will cover the furnishing and fitting of one pair of therepeutic shoes and three sets of inserts per year.
What is a licensed shoe fitter, exactly?
One common misconception is that a “shoe fitter” is anyone with a measuring tape who works in a shoe store. In reality, fitting people for therepeutic shoes requires a bit more expertise.
The American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics, Inc (ABC) is the body that trains and certifies shoe fitters in the United States. Your insurance may require that someone with the certification “ABC Certified Fitter-Therapeutic Shoes (ABC CFts)” or an equivilant background confirm your shoe size before you order shoes.
Now we come to the most pressing question – where in the world can you find these very specific professionals?
Option #1 – Get a Medicare approved in-home shoe fitting.
For most people, the most convenient option is to arrange for an in-home shoe fitting. Medicare-approved shoe supplier Quantum Medical Supply offers fittings from certified professionals who come right to you. In-home shoe fitters can also help you to select and order shoes from approved suppliers, directly billing Medicare or insurance for cost.
Option #2 – Visit your Podiatrist’s office.
Podiatrists and their assistants are able to provide shoe fitting services as needed. If you are regularly seeing one of the below professionals, consider asking them about shoe fitting at your next appointment:
- A podiatrist
- An orthotist
- A prosthetist
- A pedorthist
If your doctor does not supply shoes directly, they may offer you a recommendation for where to purchase shoes. Having your feet measured by someone connected with the supplier is a good idea, even if your podiatrist has already taken a look. This will help you account for any differences between brands and give you an opportunity to select shoes that are comfortable for you.
Option #3 – Check with your pharmacy.
As of 2012, 25 percent of ABC Certified Fitter-Therapeutic Shoes (ABC CFts) worked in a pharmacy setting. Your pharmacy may have someone on staff with the right designation, or they may be able to refer you to a professional nearby. Pharmacies are also a good source for some types of therapeutic inserts.
Making Sure Your Shoe Fitting is Covered by Medicare
You should always confirm the credentials of your shoe fitter to ensure their services will be covered under your health care plan. The best option is to use someone who can directly bill your insurance or Medicare. This lowers your risk and confirms that they are approved to provide this service.
Finding the right pair of shoes is important, so don’t be afraid to ask for help throughout this process! You can reach out to the a diabetic shoe supplier such as nocostshoes.com, speak with your podiatrist, or contact Medicare directly to confirm the details you may need.