Date: 4/18/2013 4:20 PM PDT

Orthopedic Medical Bracing and Other Equipment and Supplies

Injury to a bone or joint requires the use of orthopedic medical supplies to aid in the healing process and to alleviate pain and discomfort. Orthopedists use a number of different supplies to treat injuries to the musculoskeletal system. Most orthopedic equipment is available at pharmacies or medical supply stores.   However, some devices require custom fitting by your doctor.


Braces stabilize joints and bones recently injured or repaired by surgery. The type of brace used depends on the location and extent of the damage or repair. Medical supply stores and pharmacies offer a full line of braces to meet the needs of patients and recommendations by a doctor.
Braces come in rigid and flexible designs. Rigid braces fully immobilize the joint or bone while it heals. Flexible and functional designs stabilize the area while it heals and allow minimal movement.

WRIST BRACES reduce pain and offer protection to the wrist. Designs fit either the left or right hand and come in rigid or flexible designs. Some models only support the wrist; others extend to the forearm. Common uses for wrist braces include sprains, bone fractures and carpal tunnel syndrome repair or support.
BACK BRACES prevent injury to the lower back during heavy lifting and control body movement while the lower back heals from injury. Back braces range from basic lumbar rolls or a cushion to a complex immobilizing lumbosacral brace.
KNEE BRACES prevent injury during sports activity and aid in the rehabilitation process following surgery or trauma. Knee braces range from soft, functional braces used during daily activities to complicated, compression braces that increase circulation around the injury site.
ANKLE BRACES reduce the risk of injury in people with unstable ankle joints and immobilize the joint for healing following injury and surgical repair. Ankle braces come in soft, sock-styles that lace up to support the structure. Compression and walking boots allow walking and daily activities while the ankle heals.
Other types of braces include neck braces, leg braces and braces that stabilize areas such as the elbow, foot, collarbone and spine.

Casts and Splints
Broken bones or fractures require casting or splinting to keep the bone, muscles and supporting structures from moving. Orthopedists use casts on the arm, wrist, leg, foot and torso. Common materials used for casts include plaster or fiberglass lined with cotton.
Splints offer less support than a cast and are used at the time of the injury or during the final healing period. They easily adjust to accommodate swelling or replace a cast when healing nears completion to allow for physical therapy exercises.

Arm Slings
Broken bones in the arm, elbow or shoulder benefit from the use of an arm sling. The design is simply a fabric sleeve or loop of material that holds the arm at a 90-degree angle. Arm slings stabilize the injury and support splints or casts.

Foot Orthotics
Heel cups, footpads and arch supports offer relief from common complaints of pain associated with flat feet, high arches, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs and foot pronation. Orthotic foot devices align and support the foot to improve its overall function. Custom fitted orthotics correct or accommodate foot deformities.
Some conditions require specialty shoes fitted with custom made orthotics. Additional padding, bars and wide toe boxes relieve painful bunions and bone deformities. Limb-length deformities use custom shoes to level the stance.

Night Splints
Night splints treat plantar fasciitis, the most common cause of heel and foot pain. The basic function of a night splint is to prevent the plantar fascia ligament from tightening and shortening while asleep. Keeping the foot pointed up during sleep eliminates the pain associated with plantar fasciitis.

Hot and Cold Wraps
Acute orthopedic injuries require therapeutic wraps to aid in the initial healing process. Hot wraps loosen stiff muscles and help promote muscle movement. Cold wraps reduce swelling of the injured area. Some injuries require one or the other, while others use a combination of hot and cold wraps.

Canes, Crutches and Walkers
While healing from injury or surgery the use of a cane, walker or crutches may be necessary. These walking and mobility aids eliminate pressure and stress on the healing area while allowing you to move about. Proper use of these devices reduces strain on other areas of the body caused by poor positioning. Determine the proper way to use canes, crutches and walkers through the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons guide.

Posted by Redi-Med Supply | 6 Comments

Date: 4/15/2013 4:26 PM PDT

Do You Know What is Competitive Bidding?

Competitive Bidding is the Law!

The DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program was mandated by Congress through the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) to replace the current fee schedule payment methodology for selected Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) items with a competitive bid process.  The intent is to reduce beneficiary out-of-pocket expenses and save the Medicare program money while ensuring beneficiary access to quality items and services.

How does it work?

Under the program, a competition among suppliers in a Competitive Bidding Area (CBA) is conducted.  Suppliers are required to submit an electronic bid for selected products.  Bids are evaluated based on the supplier’s eligibility, its financial stability and the bid price.  Contracts are awarded to the Medicare suppliers who offer the best price and meet applicable quality and financial standards.  This bid process is a closed competitive bid.

In April 2007, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the Medicare DMEPOS national competitive bidding program final Rule and the first-round competitive bid areas and product categories.

In March 2008, Round 1 of the competition was completed and contracts were awarded.

In July 2008, the House and Senate voted to overturn President George W. Bush's veto of H.R. 6331. The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 included a temporary delay of the DMEPOS competitive bidding program to allow time for critical process improvements and other reforms to bidding and HME policy.  COMPETITIVE BIDDING WAS NOT CANCELLED.  However, the Round 1 contracts were canceled and the Round 2 competition was delayed until 2011.  See H.R. 6331, section 154 (Delay and Reform of Medicare DMEPOS Competitive Acquisition Program).

Comptetitive Bidding was implemented in two phases: 

Round 1 went into effect on January 1, 2011 and included the following areas: 

  • Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill (North Carolina and South Carolina)
  • Cincinnati-Middletown (Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana)
  • Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor (Ohio)
  • Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington (Texas)
  • Kansas City (Missouri and Kansas)
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach (Florida)
  • Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (Florida)
  • Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania)
  • Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario (California)
  • Round 2 is supposed to go into effect on July 1, 2013 and will include the following areas:


    Albuquerque, NM
    Bakersfield-Delano, CA
    Boise City-Nampa, ID
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO
    Fresno, CA
    Honolulu, HI
    Las Vegas-Paradise, NV
    Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA
    Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA
    Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ
    Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA
    Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, CA
    Salt Lake City, UT
    San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA
    San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA
    San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
    Stockton, CA
    Tucson, AZ
    Visalia-Porterville, CA


    Akron, OH
    Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI
    Columbus, OH
    Dayton, OH
    Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI
    Flint, MI
    Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
    Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH
    Indianapolis-Carmel, IN
    Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI
    Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
    Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA
    St. Louis, MO-IL
    Toledo, OH
    Wichita, KS
    Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA
  • South

    Asheville, NC
    Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA
    Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC
    Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX
    Baltimore-Towson, MD
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX
    Birmingham-Hoover, AL
    Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL
    Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville, SC
    Chattanooga, TN-GA
    Columbia, SC
    Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL
    El Paso, TX
    Greensboro-High Point, NC
    Greenville-Mauldin-Easley, SC
    Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX
    Jackson, MS
    Jacksonville, FL
    Knoxville, TN
    Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL
    Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR
    Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN
    McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX
    Memphis, TN-MS-AR
    Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN
    New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA
    North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, FL
    Ocala, FL
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL
    Raleigh-Cary, NC
    Richmond, VA
    San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
    Tulsa, OK
    Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC
    Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV


    Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY
    Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ
    Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH
    Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT
    Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY
    Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT
    New Haven-Milford, CT
    New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA
    Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD
    Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, NY
    Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA
    Rochester, NY
    Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, PA
    Springfield, MA
    Syracuse, NY
    Worcester, MA
  • Posted by Redi-Med Supply | 2 Comments

    Date: 6/12/2012 10:48 PM PDT

    Referring to the information on Diabetes, have you learned something you did not know?

    Do you, or somebody in your family, suffer from Diabetes?

    If so, how has it effected you or your family member?

    Posted by Redi-Med Supply | 1 Comment

    Date: 6/12/2012 10:36 PM PDT

    Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles.

    There are 20.8 million children and adults in the United States, or 7% of the population, who have diabetes. While an estimated 14.6 million have been diagnosed with diabetes, unfortunately, 6.2 million people (or nearly one-third) are unaware that they have the disease.

    In order to determine whether or not a patient has pre-diabetes or diabetes, health care providers conduct a Fasting Plasma Glucose Test (FPG) or an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). Either test can be used to diagnose pre-diabetes or diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends the FPG because it is easier, faster, and less expensive to perform.

    With the FPG test, a fasting blood glucose level between 100 and 125 mg/dl signals pre-diabetes. A person with a fasting blood glucose level of 126 mg/dl or higher has diabetes.

    In the OGTT test, a person's blood glucose level is measured after a fast and two hours after drinking a glucose-rich beverage. If the two-hour blood glucose level is between 140 and 199 mg/dl, the person tested has pre-diabetes. If the two-hour blood glucose level is at 200 mg/dl or higher, the person tested has diabetes.

    Type 1 diabetes
    Results from the body's failure to produce insulin, the hormone that "unlocks" the cells of the body, allowing glucose to enter and fuel them. It is estimated that 5-10% of Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 1 diabetes.

    Type 2 diabetes
    Results from insulin resistance (a condition in which the body fails to properly use insulin), combined with relative insulin deficiency. Most Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.

    Gestational diabetes
    Gestational diabetes affects about 4% of all pregnant women - about 135,000 cases in the United States each year.


    Pre-diabetes is a condition that occurs when a person's blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. There are 54 million Americans who have pre-diabetes, in addition to the 20.8 million with diabetes.

    Posted by Redi-Med Supply | 7 Comments

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