Welcome to Our Dia-Foot Blog

Welcome to Our Dia-Foot Blog

Here Come the Holidays!

The holiday season is fast approaching. Much of it involves large family gatherings, rich foods, drinks, shopping and traveling long distances to see family. For diabetics, it's extra important to stay focused on being healthy while spending time with family and friends during the holidays.
Here are a few tips for diabetics on getting through the holidays:
  • Check your sugar levels. The holidays are busy and being busy can distract you from your normal routine. Remember to set aside a time each day once or twice to check your sugar levels and make sure nothing is amiss.  
  • Bring a sugar free dessert to dinner. Today, many markets offer delicious sugar free dessert options. If you're not sure what's being served, bring a sugar free option. This way you too can indulge in dessert along with everyone else. 
  • Check your feet! It's so important for diabetics to inspect their feet daily (and shoes too!) Wear shoes or sneakers that are comfortable, well-fitting and supportive. Try compression socks or stockings when flying or driving long distances to keep your circulations flowing. Don't hesitate to call your foot doctor to address any foot conditions that may develop before they worsen.  
  • And finally, don't skip meals, eat your food slowly, limit alcohol and stay hydrated at all times. Once the holidays have come and gone, you will be healthier, happy and very proud of yourself!
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Welcome to Our Dia-Foot Blog

Welcome to Our Dia-Foot Blog

The Right Fit

It's so important for diabetics to wear properly fitted shoes to protect their diabetic feet. These patients are at risk of developing lower extremity complications, even ulcers that can lead to amputations in some cases. Diabetic shoes, combined with diabetic inserts help protect diabetic feet daily, both inside and outside. For best results, providers must strive for the best fit.  Assessing current fit, measuring properly and being familiar with your vendor’s diabetic shoes can all play an important part in a best fit for your patients. 

Remind your patients to wear the socks they normally wear with their diabetic shoes and for those who experience swelling, schedule appointments in the afternoon. 
Assess the fit of your patient’s current shoes prior to measuring. This can be useful and help you determine a starting point especially if your Brannock measurement results in a larger discrepancy in foot length and arch length.  
While your patient is standing, measure with your Brannock device. The Brannock measures length, width and arch length. Don’t forget the arch length! Arch length is where a foot flexes when a step is taken. If only measuring length and width, a patient can end up with shoes that fit, but experience foot irritation because the arch length had not been taken into consideration when ordering the shoes. If the arch length is a higher number than the length, a good starting point a size right in between. If the arch length a couple of sizes above length, start with a size closer to the arch length. 

Finally, knowing your shoe brands and how they fit can help you guide your patients when choosing their shoes. Patients with deformities such as hammer toes and bunions would do well with shoes from brands such as Dr. Comfort or Orthofeet. All of their shoes have roomier toe boxes and are made specifically for diabetics. For your active patients who like Brooks brand, order at least a half or full size up, especially if the patient is getting custom inserts. Patients ordering boots and athletic shoes may want to order one width up as those types of shoes tend to be more snug. Patients with narrow heels should choose shoes with laces for more secure fit, and know your stretchable options so you can guide those patients who experience swelling or edema. 

For specific questions or additional details about a specific brand or shoe, you can check out the brand website or contact your shoe vendor. 

Happy fitting!
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Welcome to Our Dia-Foot Blog

Welcome to Our Dia-Foot Blog

Protecting the Diabetic Feet with Diabetic Shoes

In 2020 it was estimated that over 34 million people in the United States have diabetes, roughly 10% of the US population and that 88 million people over the age of 18 have prediabetes. Very concerning as Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke, and lower limb amputation. 

According to a NCBI Lower Extremity Amputation Study in 2020, “patients with Diabetes Mellitus have an astounding 30 times greater lifetime risk of undergoing an amputation when compared to patients without diabetes mellitus, which translates to an economic strain in healthcare systems of over $4.3 billion in annual costs in the USA alone.” The risks are high for diabetic patients, and it is crucial that the medical community continues to raise awareness to diagnose and treat diabetics with medication, lifestyle changes and proper footcare.

Diabetic Shoes offer protection for the diabetic foot and can help reduce the risk of lower extremity complications. They help prevent ulcers and calluses from forming, distribute weight away from pressure points and accommodate foot deformities.  In addition to the precise measuring and fitting exams each patient receives, diabetic shoes have the following special features:

·        Extra depth to accommodate diabetic inserts

·        Protective interiors with seamless stitching to prevent skin irritations

·        Roomy toe boxes to protect toes and prevent injury

·        Non-skid soles and rocker bottoms for stability and to prevent falls

·        Thick, padded tongues and heel collars for extra comfort and to prevent heel slippage

·        Constructed with qualify materials such as soft leather, mesh, and lycra for breathability and to accommodate patients with swelling or deformities.

·        Multiple shoe widths to accommodate each patient 

In 2017 for the very first time, the American Diabetes Association Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes began recommending the use of diabetic shoes in its footcare recommendation. This year’s Journal states, “The use of specialized therapeutic footwear is recommended for high-risk patient with diabetes including those with sever neuropathy, foot deformities, ulcers, callous formation, poor peripheral circulation or history of amputation.”

Podiatry is the only profession that Medicare has permitted to perform the clinical foot exam, order the diabetic shoes, and dispense them to their patients. On average, over 80% of diabetics in any given podiatry practice qualify for diabetic shoes and inserts.  

The value of providing them every year to help reduce their risk of lower extremity complications should not be underestimated.

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Welcome to our Dia-Foot Blog

Welcome to our Dia-Foot Blog

Tips for Dispensing Diabetic Shoes the Easy Way!

Every diabetic patient who has at least one of the six qualifying foot conditions per the LCD, is eligible for Diabetic Shoes and Inserts. Up to 80% of a podiatry practice’s patients may qualify! Read on for some helpful tips to keep your Diabetic Shoe Program running smoothly.

Keep diabetic shoe catalogs updated! We update our catalogs in our newsletters and provide QR codes so you can view the latest online version which includes any new styles added. You can call also call Dia-Foot at (877)405-3668 prompt 2 for a list of current updates. Crossing off discontinued shoes in your office catalogs can help speed up your orders.

During your patient’s foot exam, measure accurately with a Brannock device and document the required elements - the qualifying foot condition, what you are ordering, the foot measurements and if ordering custom inserts, add casting details and justification.

Patient communication is important! Make sure patients provide you with the CORRECT Certifying Physician name, which can be a PCP or an Endocrinologist. Have your patients choose at least two or more shoes to prevent backorders due to Covid-19. Tell your patients you will call them when their shoes arrive and instruct them to wait at least six weeks before calling you for status.

Use short simple wording in your fax covers when requesting signatures and notes from Certifying Physicians. Get all THREE signed documents you are required to get. This has become easier due to recent LDC changes that allow NP and PA’s to perform those face-to-face diabetic exams.

Check your shoe and insert orders for accuracy as soon as you receive them and schedule your patient before the dispense-by date.

The day you dispense is your Date of Service. Have your patient sign the Proof of Delivery and complete your in-office dispensing exam with required elements - what you dispensed, your objective opinion on the fit while the patient was wearing their shoes, how the patient found the fit and, if dispensing pre-fabs inserts, the heat method used.

Utilizing the above tips can help your practice dispense diabetic shoes more efficiently!

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